A school board member in New Hampshire wants football banned in his district. As it turns out, Paul Butler is a retired MD and obviously has more knowledge about head injuries and concussions than the average person. However, banning football is the wrong approach. Every single sport has some element of risk. Making them as safe as possible is without question, the number one priority but banning them is not an option. As a skier, I understand the inherent risk of skiing steep mountains with large moguls. Helmets can protect the head from injury but not the skier from skiing off a trail. Helmets protect bicyclists from head injuries but not from broken bones. Ju Jitsu and particularly Judo is all about contact and being thrown to the mat over and over again. But you can’t learn Judo without learning to throw an opponent and being thrown in return. WIthout risk, there is no reward. Safety should always be the number one priority in any sport but life is filled with risk. It simply depends on the amount of risk one is willing to undertake. We can’t run away from life, nor should we want to. Sometimes you have to let a child run outside without a coat even when it’s cold. Life, in order to be enjoyed, needs to be lived. That doesn’t mean people need to be daredevils, risking their lives in everything they do, but the opposite extreme is no better. The solution to this issue is not banning football, it’s finding new and improved ways to protect players heads from impact and injury.