USA Football condemns viral youth football video of boy getting violently knocked over

USA Football wants to make it clear that what happened in a viral youth football video is inappopriate.

A video of a young football player getting brutally run over by another had been widely shared across social media on Tuesday and Wednesday. Adults on the field can be heard laughing after the boy gets knocked down in a drill purportedly designed to help defenders learn how to tackle and ball carriers learn how to break a tackle. 

Are they too young to be doing this drill?

— Young Black Jesus (@Zeekncashe) May 11, 2021

It's obvious to anyone watching the video that the drill should never have been implemented in the first place. Just look at how the (bigger) ball carrier lowers his head to run over the child trying to tackle him. The NFL and NCAA have taken steps in recent years to penalize players for lowering their head to initiate contact. That head lowering is incredibly dangerous and can lead to head and neck injuries. 

USA Football said Wednesday that the video went against everything it teaches youth football coaches. 

This is against everything that we in football stand for. @USAFootball believes in a safer, smarter game taught by trained coaches to athletes according to their developmental readiness.

We support the thousands of coaches committed to teach the right way with us.

— Scott Hallenbeck (@USAFootballHC) May 12, 2021

This is dangerous, inappropriate and has NO place in our game.

Coach training is a pillar of our Football Development Model because educated coaches are key to making the game safer and more fun for the kids who play it.

— USA Football ??? (@USAFootball) May 12, 2021

USA Football certifies youth coaches across the country and says it’s issued over 700,000 football coaching certifications. The organization has implemented processes to educate both players and coaches on how to make the game of football safer in its football development model. That model includes various different types of football from flag football to limited contact and full contact versions of football as players get older.

Former players also rebuke the drill

Numerous former college and pro players didn't hesitate to express their displeasure with what they saw in the video either. While the video shows a variation of the Tennessee Titans logo, it's unclear where the video was shot or who was in it. Hopefully both kids were OK after the collision.

Words cannot begin to express my anger watching this clip…this is not football & whoever put this idiotic drill together & allowed an obvious mismatch should never be allowed near a football field or youth sports forever! This is child abuse disguised as competition

— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) May 12, 2021

Attention all parents! If your kid is doing this drill. Take your child off the field and don’t go back to those stupid coaches. Coaches like this aren’t safe and ruin the image off football.

— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) May 12, 2021

This is one of the dumbest things I have ever seen in youth sports.
1-they look to be like 7-8 years old. There’s not need to be doing anything close to this
2-one if OBVIOUSLY outmatched and that’s on the coach
3-whoever put this drill together should face consequences

— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) May 11, 2021

Too young is one thing, poor teaching of technique is another, teaching bad technique is far worse, and then seeing bad technique played out at full speed can be tough to watch…..younger age is fine with great oversight and teaching.

— Mike Golic (@golic) May 11, 2021

There are many people that should not be allowed to be associated with the game of football, at any level. People responsible for this are doing nothing good for the game, and especially nothing good for these children. F’ing joke.

— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) May 12, 2021

I hate these people with all my heart ! The reason why I say ban football til you’re 10 years of age ! Certify coaches ! Let’s implement rules for practices or ban some of these idiots from coaching kids forever!!

— Willie Anderson (@BigWillie7179) May 11, 2021

Absolutely disgrace. Pisses me off!

— Anthony Becht (@Anthony_Becht) May 12, 2021

The way you teach tackling to young players (not that young) is from a step or 2 away. That is nonsense

— Bobby Carpenter (@Bcarp3) May 11, 2021

If you truly loved football, let alone these BOYS, you would never allow this to happen.

These coaches should be fired yesterday.

— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) May 12, 2021

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