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An article in today's New York Times ("At Colorado, a Breach in Football's Wall," Michael Powell, April 18) brilliantly exposes the dangers involved in playing football today. Despite best efforts at designing equipment and increased anti-concussion trainings, the statistics are damning: Too many former players, whether at the high school or college or professional levels, are seriously brain-damaged, and suicide rates are unconscionable.

The article is hugely sobering. It is simply impossible to participate in American football without damaging the brains of players. So football has become an essential moral issue for those encouraging (by being fans, or coaching, or by being the parents of players) the game.

Bottom line: Football players sustain life-altering injuries. We know this.

So I'd like to make a suggestion. Let's ban football in Benton County. This action will save lives and designate Benton County as a leader in making tough parenting choices.

Allowing a normal kid to play football is an immoral act. Simply because we know that kid will sustain brain damage as a result of his athletic activity.

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Parents, think about it. And act. You are responsible for helping your kids make healthy life decisions. Please read the Times article and work through the issues with your kids. You'll never regret the moral choices you make as a family.

And a note to Oregon State University President Ed Ray: Should you address this issue before your retirement? It is a simple moral choice, and it's yours ... a part of your legacy in Corvallis. End football at OSU!

Kirk Nevin

Corvallis (April 18)

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