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Letters: How to prevent football tragedies

Students honor Tom Cutinella, Shoreham-Wading River High School

Students honor Tom Cutinella, Shoreham-Wading River High School football player on Oct. 2, 2014. Credit: Instagram / @maxysanti_22

Playing high school football as a running back and linebacker in the 1940s, I rarely saw head and neck injuries ["Hurting over young man's football death," Letters, Oct. 10]. We wore leather helmets without nose guards or face masks. Only someone with a nose injury had a nose guard screwed onto his helmet.

Face masks give players a false sense of security, encouraging them to use their heads in tackling. Also, the hard helmets seem to contribute to injuries. My advice would be to get rid of face masks and hard helmets.

Joe Brancati, Plainview

So another young man dies of what is believed to be head trauma, and we see the usual images: teammates huddled with heads bowed, parents blindsided and devastated, friends sobbing. Perhaps the boy's uniform will be enshrined.

But soon, the message will be, get back on the field and smash your heads together. Some will be lucky and go on to play college football. Maybe a few will go pro, so that at age 50 they can be crippled and demented. Safety and protection are not in the budget.

Richard Posner, Selden

It's time to change all Long Island school football programs to flag football. Maybe other states and even colleges would follow suit. As a result, we could hope that there would be no more devastating injuries or deaths.

Karen Kutcher, Roslyn


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