My youngest son decided he wanted to play eighth grade football this year. After many talks, and with much regret, we allowed him to play.

He is doing great and is thoroughly enjoying himself. However, I must point out that as a society, we must be insane to allow this to go on.

For our infants, we use special cribs and keep toddlers away from small items they could choke on. We safety-proof our houses and playgrounds and put kids in car seats. We make them wear helmets riding bikes and flashing lights on Halloween. We have tons of medicines, first aid kits and hand sanitizers. Then, we let them (encourage them!) to play football.

If we put our son on his bike, in his football equipment, took him to the end of our driveway and told him to ride his bike as fast as he can right into the side of our garage they would lock us up. But on a football field, the equivalent (a dozen times a game) is cheered.

We sit on the sidelines and see 13-year-olds in casts, on crutches and wearing ice packs each game. They enact (now grudgingly mandatory) concussion protocol on players several times a game and carry our kids off the field way too often.

Kids are getting seriously injured and even killed all of the time in football. Why are we allowing this, again? Yes, I played football and yes, we allowed our son to play. We support and enjoy juvenile athletics. We just pray that we don’t regret our decision.

I think we seriously need to stop beating our chests about toughness and “being a man” and question the reasons we allow our children to be treated like gladiators rather than the most important things in our lives.

Anthony Winslow

Gray