Youth football has taken a hit in New York City. The violent nature of the sport, and the widespread awareness of the danger of concussions, is causing more parents to keep their kids on the sidelines.
Across the five boroughs, the numbers of kids participating in tackle football is in decline because of the fear of concussions, several coaches and league presidents say.
"It's not necessarily concussions as in parents seeing their kids get concussions, but concussion awareness that has scared some people off," said Edmond Wilson, the president of Empire Youth Football, a citywide organization for kids between the ages of 6 and 14. "I have had kids who played before, and their parents don't want them to be tackled. They are afraid of concussions."