Open Letter to Westport’s State Rep Paul Schmidt: Don’t Ban Football
Dear State Rep Paul Schmid,
How dare you? Haven't we gone down this road before? My wife and I don't need your help parenting my child, so please butt out. If it sounds like I'm taking this personally, I am. You are arrogant to think that you can parent our child better than we can.
For some reason, you feel as though Massachusetts parents are seeking the help of the government to make family decisions like which after school activities our children will choose. We aren't. Please leave us alone. Your input is not needed.
The last time you tried to ban youth tackle football, I tried to be nice. I invited you on to my show to try to educate you. Your appearance on my radio show really highlighted how very little you knew about youth football. In fact, as you admitted, you had never even attended a single youth football practice in your entire life.
Now, I'm not feeling so nice. I find it offensive that you think my wife and I need your guidance in raising my son. Just because your family isn't interested in participating in youth football, there's no need to impose your preferences and beliefs onto my family. You are not a king. You have no right to infringe upon our liberty. You want to know what's dangerous? THAT's dangerous.
I could get into the fact that youth tackle football forms a bond between young men unlike any other sport. I could talk about how the football field might be the last place in America where it's OK to admit that we are forming and shaping these boys into men...giving them an opportunity to overcome and rise above adversity. But you wouldn't get it. And the sport doesn't need to be defended.
I wonder how you would enjoy someone doing that to you and your family? I bet you'd be pretty upset.
What if, for example, you enjoyed bringing your grandson fishing, but I found it offensive? I mean, what about the poor fish? How cruel! Why would you teach your grandson to hurt animals like that? Recreational fishing should be banned. Do you see how ridiculous that would be? If you don't believe youth tackle football is right for your family, by all means...stay away.
Every parent in Massachusetts should be concerned about this. Today's outrage du jour is youth football. The next outrage might be girls soccer, horseback riding or baseball. There are examples of kids getting concussions in all of these activities. Should they all be banned?
A 14-year-old Fairhaven boy was struck by a car this week on his way to school. Should we ban kids from riding bikes?
There is a certain amount of risk involved in every activity we choose. Whether or not we participate is not up to you. It's up to families. We don't want the government getting involved in these choices. Please stop.