ALTUS, Okla. – Although football is one of the country’s most popular sports, many people say the health risks are simply too great.
In recent years, researchers have been taking notice of the risks associated with contact sports, like football.
A study released earlier this year showed that chronic traumatic encephalopathy can start early and without any signs of concussion.
Previous studies have shown that repetitive hits to the head — even without a concussion — can result in CTE, but scientists said this is the most definitive study to date to find this connection.
“CTE develops early, soon after injury. It doesn’t take years, or decades. It starts early. It persists. And all of our evidence to date shows it’s progressive,” said Dr. Julian Bailes, the director of neurosurgery and co-director of NorthShore University HealthSystem Neurological Institute.
Now, a city in Oklahoma announced that it is doing away with tackle football.
The City of Altus Parks and Recreation Department announced that it is making a big change to its football program.
“There will be one big change this year in regards to our football programs. After careful consideration and consultation with parents, school coaches and staff; we have elected to eliminate our tackle football program from our program roster. We will continue to offer flag football for Pre-K to 6th Grade Students. This decision was not taken lightly and reflects our commitment to the enjoyment and safety of all participants,” the department said in a statement.
Officials say flag football will still serve to teach children how to play the game, while keeping them safe.