Dover, NH, School Board Member Suggests Banning Football

“I know I’m not going to win a lot of friends with this”—Paul Butler

For now, Dr. Paul Butler finds himself on a lonely island.

“I am suggesting that we try to stop the game of football in Dover,” says the soft spoken member of Dover’s school board.

Those words may not have trickled down to the high school practice field yet, where players ran through drills this afternoon.

But the statement was something of a lightning bolt at Monday’s school board session.

“The literature on head injuries in football is getting increasingly clear,” says Butler. “The game is dangerous for our brains.”—CBS

It’s easy to make fun of people who suggest banning football. I could call them soft or French or something of that nature. I could suggest that we just ban childhood activities all together and make our boys sit at home and watch past seasons of Oprah. But I’m not going to do that. Because it’s pretty apparent that brain injuries are a very real problem in football, and career players have been suffering through their retirements.

What I’d rather address is the concept that we have to protect children from everything. It’s damaging society. Today it’s football but tomorrow it’s something else. A boy’s natural instinct is to run and hit things. It would be futile to deny him that. It’s better to let kids compete in a controlled environment, where they learn teamwork and the values of competition. If one day the U.S. government decides to listen to people like Dr. Butler and continues to tell people how to raise their kids, the results will be more disastrous than Prohibition.

The solution is very simple. Make better helmets. We have some stupid little box cruising around the surface of Mars sending Instragrams back to NASA and you mean to tell me we can’t improve football helmets?

Just change the equipment because you can’t change people. The biological urge to crush a tailback on a checkdown is impossible to suppress.

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