Pop Warner said Wednesday it was investigating a viral video that showed two youth football players colliding in a ball-carrying and tackling drill.
The video caused a massive amount of outrage among current and former NFL athletes, as well as fans of the sport, with some likening the drill to “child abuse.”
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“We are deeply disturbed by this video and are investigating. If, in fact, it was Pop Warner coaches leading these drills, we will take action,” Pop Warner spokesperson Brian Heffron told Fox News.
“What we saw was dangerous and, frankly, offensive to the overwhelming majority of our coaches who teach the sport the right way. We expect every coach to adhere to mandated training and focus on the proper, safe progressions of tackling techniques, including practice against dummies, particularly at such a young age. Over the past 10 years Pop Warner has instituted a number of player safety rules, and this example runs counter to our practices.”
YOUTH FOOTBALL DRILL GOES VIRAL AND CAUSES MASSIVE OUTRAGE: ‘THIS IS CHILD ABUSE’
USA Football — the sport’s national governing body and a member of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee — condemned the video, as well.
“This is against everything that we in football stand for and has no place in our game — it is an affront to the millions of Moms and Dads who coach youth football with the greatest care for their kids,” a USA Football spokesman told Fox News.
“USA Football’s Recommendations for Youth Play, endorsed by national sports medicine leaders, strongly prohibits what was seen here. Since 2012, more than 700,000 youth coach certifications have been completed through USA Football. This video distorts how today’s youth football should be taught and played, which is safer and smarter than at any time in its 90-plus year history.”
“USA Football strongly recommends and educates on the use of developmentally appropriate drills, the knowledgeable and proper use of levels of contact, coaches educated on proper tackling technique; reinforcement of the rules of the game; and creating a physically and emotionally safe environment for athletes at all ages. The coaching and behaviors demonstrated in this video exhibit none of this.”
The outrage was prevalent on social media.
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The team involved in the incident has yet to be confirmed.