America officially agrees that brain injuries are a big problem for football, but don’t expect to see any big changes anytime soon. A recent survey shows that while the majority of fans say they’re concerned about brain injuries in the NFL, but few are tuning out.
Of the 1,000 Americans questioned in the survey by the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the Washington Post, 77 percent say they believe head injuries are a significant issue for the NFL. Fifteen percent described the issue as a minor problem, and just 6 percent say they don’t consider it a problem at all.
More so, 80% of respondents agreed there is either certainly or probably settled science that playing football causes brain injuries. In comparison, only ten percent said this is either probably false or certainly false.
The survey also shows that fans are increasingly aware of the risks of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a permanent brain disease linked to repeated head trauma. Over 50 percent of those polled believe CTE is a serious public health issue, and another 28 percent said CTE is likely a serious issue.
“There is a growing ambivalence among pro football fans that puts their love of the game in conflict with their views on concussions and head injuries,” said Joshua Dyck, co-director of UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion.
“The survey indicates that football fans are very concerned about the problems related to concussions, and half think the league has not done enough to address the issue. However, there is no evidence in this survey that NFL fans have started voting with their feet and remote controls by turning away and tuning out,” Dyck said in a university news release.
While most respondents say they are worried about concussions and CTE in the NFL, 60% described themselves as fans. Over 30 percent went even further by calling themselves “big fans.”
Based on the findings of the survey, football is still the most popular sport in the country. No amount of brain injuries seems to be able to change that.