On May 29 from 6:00-8:30 pm. the New England Patriots, in partnership with USA Football, will host a free Mom’s Football Safety Clinic. The purpose of this clinic is to educate mothers whose children are interested in playing tackle football, so they have the latest information regarding safety. This is being done through USA Football’s “Heads Up Football” program.
In this clinic, mothers will be educated in a classroom setting regarding concussion awareness, heat and hydration, proper equipment fitting and strength and conditioning. The mothers will also participate in on-field drills to learn proper technique.
A couple of things:
- Why are mothers the only people being invited?
Information regarding this event specifically says mothers should not bring their children or spouse. Shouldn’t the kids interested in playing tackle football hear this information firsthand? Why are fathers being excluded? Are the Patriots, USA Football and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell assuming that fathers don’t care and will want their children to play tackle football no matter what? Or are they assuming that all men know everything there is to know about football safety — particularly concussions? What happens if a single father has a young child that is interested in playing tackle football? Are they not allowed to attend?
- Does this mean the NFL is worried about its future?
The Patriots are not the only team hosting these types of events. The Chicago Bears held a similar clinic for approximately 200 moms in 2013. The Atlanta Falcons have hosted a similar event and the Carolina Panthers are hosting one on May 21. Does the NFL feel that although their sport is the most popular one in this country, they must start trying to protect the longevity of their sport now? Do they fear that more parents will keep their children from playing football and steer them towards other, safer sports if measures are not taken to make football safer?
With the NFL making an estimated $9 billion a year, it seems preposterous to believe they are worried about the future of their sport. But addressing football safety now (although concussions should have been addressed at all levels years ago) is probably wise of the NFL.