“Football is dangerous.”

That’s the official opinion of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Football is dangerous.  I don’t think we needed a judicial declaration on this topic. We’ve all seen serious injuries that players suffer and we’ve seen evidence of the long term effects of the head banging that is an essential element of the game. 

The court opined on this in the context of a high school student who suffered a concussion and then sued the district and numerous district employees over it.  The federal district court dismissed the case, and the 5th Circuit has now affirmed that decision. Here’s the final paragraph in the court’s short opinion:

There is growing debate in this country about the dangers of football. The problem of concussions has reached the court system via tort suits, See, e.g., In re: NFL Players’ Concussion Injury Litig., 821 F.3d 410 (3rd Cir. 2016). But we do not see a role for the Constitution in the weighing of risks and benefits that participants in America’s most popular sport must make. 

It’s Yarbrough v. Santa Fe ISD, decided by the 5th Circuit on March 25, 2022. 


Got a question or comment for the Dawg?  Let me hear from you at jwalsh@wabsa.com