Objective: Over the past decade, increased scrutiny has been given to health-related consequences of participating in American football. This study considers whether the known risk has affected individuals' willingness to play at the intercollegiate level. Methods: Drawing from a survey of 726 adult males, this study uses quantitative experimental vignette methodology to investigate factors associated with the self-conscious choice to risk brain damage in exchange for a football scholarship. Results: Respondents whose mothers' highest level of education was high school or lower were especially willing to assume the known long-term risk associated with playing college football, as were African Americans. Conclusions: The findings may foreshadow a moral quandary should radical changes to football player safety not occur soon. If the sport's physical risks are acceptable mainly to those from historically disadvantaged backgrounds, it could be difficult for presidents, faculty, and other stakeholders to allow young men to represent their universities in this capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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