Damar Hamlin incident has parents reconsidering children's contact sports

Parents have difference of opinions when it comes to letting children participate
Posted at 12:53 AM, Jan 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-05 00:53:48-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The incident involving Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has many parents reconsidering whether to let their children participate in contact sports.

"I mean, it was really scary," parent Aaron Moreno said. "He made a tackle and just collapsed."

Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest during a "Monday Night Football" game against the Cincinnati Bengals and was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

"It gave me a little bit of concern, but it definitely didn't change anything for me," Moreno told WPTV at a park in West Palm Beach.

Moreno said he played football through high school and isn't against his 2-year-old son playing a contact sport when he gets older.

"I think as a parent, you're going to always worry and you're always going to have concern," he said. "I think that holding him back from playing a sport, you know, I don't think, that's not what I'm going to do with my child."

But Anastasia Chunaeva feels differently.

Anastasia Chunaeva doesn't want son to play contact sports
Briana Nespral/WPTV

"I'd rather him not to be interested in contact sports," she said of her son. "He's doing tennis now, so if he can continue that and be OK with that, I'll be fine."

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, participation in 11-player boys football has slightly declined for several years, "due in part to concerns about the risk of injury."

"It will be very hard to say no," Chunaeva said. "I'll probably do my best to explain the pros and cons and describe the possible consequences."

But for Moreno, the decision is clear.

"Whether it's football or them getting their driver's license, me and his mother would like to wrap him in bubble wrap to keep him safe, but we can't do that," Moreno said.