Is There too Much Money on the Table to Ban Girls Soccer?
There are calls to ban girls soccer due to too many concussions but is too much money involved to ban girls soccer? There are parents, coaches, and medical personnel that think soccer isnt worth the price some girls are paying with their health. Some of these young athletes suffer multiple soccer concussions that add more injury to brains that are trying to recover from previous concussions. To be fair, the number of girls experiencing concussions is a small but growing percentage of participants. If you ask the kids theyll tell you they play the game because they love it but girls soccer is driven by adults that love soccer just as much as the girls do and the majority of them think its worth it. As the saying goes, money talks and everything else walks.
Worth Their Weight in Gold?
When we think about youth league soccer most of us dont think about it as a money sport. Were more likely to think about the soccer moms that drive their kids to and from practice. While soccer is the most popular sport in the world, its a distant fourth behind football, baseball, and basketball in the United States. But if you look at the big picture, American soccer is growing in popularity and money is chasing it. The fact that the American Womens Soccer team won the Gold Medal in the 2012 Olympics in London, England is proof that American soccer is on the rise. That team and previous successful womens soccer teams are producing stars that are being idolized by younger female soccer players. Companies are ready and willing to sign these female soccer stars to lucrative contracts to endorse their products.
Fame and Fortune
When young female soccer players see this kind of success, they see fame and glory. Like everyone else, young female soccer players want to be respected and liked. They become inspired when they see their soccer idols respected and liked by all of their fans. That motivates them to train and play hard so that they can be like their soccer idols. Unfortunately some of them experience concussions and serious side effects that can last a lifetime. Soccer concussions can scar the brain and cause chemical changes in the brain. Memory loss, nausea, migraines, and vision problems are just some of the symptoms of a soccer concussion. For some young girls, what started out as just wanting to be like soccer stars Brandi Chastain and Hope Solo ended in a medical nightmare.
Show me the Money
When parents, coaches, and the soccer infrastructure look at the money that can be made from soccer, they see opportunity. Soccer may look like a bunch of kids on a field playing with a ball and a couple of goals, but the soccer infrastructure goes far beyond that. Some of the soccer infrastructure is made up of coaches, trainers, equipment manufacturers, grounds keepers, parks and recreation departments, shoe manufacturers, soccer associations, and sponsors. As you can see, there are a lot of hands for money to move through in the game of soccer. One other money stream from girls soccer is college scholarships.
The Price of College Tuition
A college scholarship or grant is a ticket to college for some soccer players. College tuition isnt cheap and most people jump at any and all of the financial aid they can get. When a student gets a college scholarship, they avoid working just to pay off thousands of dollars in student loans. Players and parents know the dangers of playing soccer but they have to weigh the good versus the bad and make the decision to play based on their conclusions. Most soccer players pay to play soccer and never get paid anything to play. They play because they love it. But just as the popularity of the sport is growing so is its financial potential.
The number of those who question whether soccer is getting to dangerous is growing. Each concussion suffered by a young girl adds to their call to ban the sport. But the players, parents, and coaches that love the game are even rejecting the idea of wearing soccer half helmets. If they arent willing to use helmets, theyre not likely to go along with a ban on soccer any time soon either. They believe that soccer is a contact sport and concussions, though unfortunate, are a part of the game. For some soccer enthusiast, money is also a part of the game that theyre willing to take the risk for.