The concussions, violent hits seen on TV, lawsuits over health, and suicides among football players have taken their toll on parents, who see a connection between what’s happening in the pros and the risks their children face on the field down the street, an “Outside the Lines” survey finds. About 57 percent of parents in an online public opinion survey of more than 1,000 people conducted by ESPN Research and the Global Strategy Group in early August said that recent stories about the increase in concussions in football have made them less likely to allow their sons to play in youth leagues.
The survey asked several questions about people’s perception of injuries, specifically concussions, in the NFL, and how those opinions trickled down through all levels of the sport. Special emphasis was given to parents of boys younger than 15. About two-thirds of parents said concussions are a serious issue in youth football.