HOUSTON - There is a huge debate swirling around the effects concussions have on football players.
Hard knocks are part of the game says Eugene Martinez.
“Concussions are going to happen either way,” Martinez, a parent, said. “All you can do is teach safety, how to hit and the proper way of tackling.”
It’s a technique Martinez has taught his daughter.
“With your head on the side of the other person’s body,” Bryana Martinez, a football player, said about the proper form for tackling.
But that doesn’t always prevent concussions. And now researchers are trying to determine the effects of the brain injuries.
“I was seeing young kids in the league getting hurt,” Martha Martinez, a mother, said.
Martinez is not waiting for researchers’ results. She stopped her kid from playing football when he developed headaches during the game.
“I was getting hit like pretty hard my lip was bleeding,” Faustino Martinez said.
Many of the parents we talked to said they are closely watching to see what the NFL will do when it comes to player safety and concussions. In the meantime, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that if he had a son he would allow him to play football.
“Absolutely, I have twin daughters just like the president, and I’m concerned when they play any sport,” Goodell said.
The NFL said it is spending millions of dollars to learn more about the effects of concussions, but parents are still worried.
“I just tell him in the long run hitting with the head will cause him a problem the way the studies coming out right now.”
The message is sinking in.
“Like on ESPN they say you forget stuff...like you go into the room and you forget what your gonna get,” Xavier Leon, a fifth-grader, said.
Leon’s father will continue to look for any signs of a concussion in his son.
He’ll also be waiting to see results from studies on concussions. Some have already shown there can be lasting effects, but conclusions about the severity are still tough to tackle.