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#pounditSunday, December 3, 2023

Prominent college football coach makes wild claims about future of sport

North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora certainly made some bold comments on the state of the sport on Wednesday.

Speaking at the ACC’s media day, Fedora bemoaned the fact that football is “under attack,” worried that its decline would ruin the country, and cast doubt on links between the sport and CTE in a series of rather bizarre comments.

There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s start with the bizarre link between football and the military, which seems to come out of nowhere and does not make a lot of sense. The argument that football is so intertwined with both the military and the fate of the country seems like a desperate attempt to cling to its cultural importance to try to limit efforts to make it safer for people to play. It’s illogical, nonsensical, and done in bad faith.

Fedora’s dismissiveness of a link between football and CTE is distressingly common, despite huge amounts of evidence in favor of a strong link between the two. There is, after all, a reason that the NFL has allegedly tried to influence reporting on this link.

We get it. Fedora loves football and, deep down, fears for the future of the sport as it’s played right now as the evidence of its safety issues continues to pile up. Instead of trying to work to find solutions to make the game safer for those who play it while trying to preserve what it is that he feels makes it great, but he instead decided to make bizarre claims about its impact on the nation’s future while trying to cast doubt on the science behind player safety. It’s patently ridiculous.


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