Video of Child Being Violently Tackled in Football Drill Sparks Outrage


An 8-second video of a vicious training drill between two pint-size football players has gone viral, sparking even the National Football League to denounce it. The video shows two kids, who appear to be seven or eight years old, engaging in a tackling drill.

The kid carrying the football gets a running start and lowers his head as he barrels toward the other kid who is supposed to try to tackle him. The child with the ball plows through the outmatched defender as their helmets collide.

The child who got hit appeared shaken up and struggled to get to his feet, as somebody in the background can be heard saying, "you're good."

Outrage over the video was swift, with several former NFL players speaking out against what they saw. Retired NFL linebacker Channing Crowder said the footage showed "child abuse."

"This is child abuse. I know dozens of all pro/hall of fame players that didn't play til they were 10+ years old. You aren't helping ur kids. Whatever coach set up this drill for these babies needs to be fired and I would like to do this drill against him on his way out," he tweeted.

Dan Orlovsky, who spent 12 years as a backup quarterback in the NFL, said that making two young kids do that drill was "one of the dumbest things I have ever seen in youth sports."

Shawne Merriman, who played eight seasons as a hard-hitting NFL linebacker, called the drill "ridiculous."

It is unclear where the video takes place, but the kids are wearing Tennesse Titan's uniforms, and the team's logo is on the field. The Titans have not commented on the video.

Pop Warner and USA Football condemned the video, saying drills like that have no place in youth football.

"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."

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