Feb 20, 2014 at 9:23 am
ST. CLOUD (KNSI) - Is football safe enough these days to be a high school sport? Amid high-profile NFL cases of brain injury, that question is being asked by parents and community members around the country - including some in Sartell.
And, that topic was the subject of the latest "Sartell Says" event, a moderated oxford-style debate pitting teams of two people against one another to argue an issue and try to sway public opinion in front of a live audience.
One panelist speaking against football for high schoolers - College of St. Benedict / St. John's University Professor and former boxer, Tony Cunningham.
Cunningham says, as players hacve gotten bigger and faster, the injury risk has spiked, and one too many blows to the head can end with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a fatal condition.
On the flip side - Dave DeLand, Sports Editor for the St. Cloud Times - argued in favor of football remaining in high schools. He says kids can get hurt playing any sport, and comparing high school and NFL injuries is "comparing apples and oranges."
Before the debate, in polling the live audience, 76% percent agreed with the motion "football should remain a high school sport." 5% percent were against, and 19% percent were undecided.
On the second vote, the team arguing for the motion earned 79% percent, gaining 3 percentage points. The team against the motion ended the night with 15% percent, gaining 10 percentage points.
So, while most people admitted to remaining in favor of football remaining a high school sport, the team arguing against the motion, "Football should remain high school sport" emerged the winners.
"Sartell Says" is a new public event which tackles community issues through moderated debates.
LISTEN BELOW FOR MORE DETAILED COMMENTS FROM CUNNINGHAM AND DELAND
Temp: 52°F (11°C)
Wind: 16 NE