UNC Football Coach Larry Fedora Tackled for Rant About CTE: ‘Our Game Is Under Attack’ (Video)

With pigskin participation in decline, “Our country will go down, too,” he tells reporters at ACC Media Day

Last Updated: July 18, 2018 @ 3:52 PM

Better rewrite your ESPYS monologue, Danica Patrick: UNC head football coach Larry Fedora just went on a wild rant defending his sport and questioning its connection to CTE. And then he took the whole thing a step further, suggesting that keeping kids out of football for fear of brain injury could become a national security risk.

“Our game is under attack,” Fedora told reporters during the ACC’s Media Day, according to ESPN. “I fear that the game will get, will get pushed so far to one extreme, that you won’t recognize the game 10 years from now. And that’s what I worry about. And I do believe if it gets to that point, that our country goes down too.”

Uh, what’s that now? The ball coach explained that a military general told him that there is a belief among leaders in the armed forces that football is what has prepared some of our best soldiers. How’s that soccer thing working out for you, rest of the world?

But what about that generally acknowledged link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy? You know, that one that even the NFL seems to accept these days?

“I’m not sure that anything is proven that football, itself, causes [CTE],” Fedora said. “Now we do know, from what my understanding is that the repeated blows to the head cause it, so I’m assuming that every sport we have, football included, could be a problem with that, right? As long as you’ve got any kind of contact you could have that. That does not diminish the fact that the game is still safer than it’s ever been in the history of the game, because we continue to tweak the game to try to make it safer for our players.”

Fedora says he’s not familiar with the NFL’s exploration of a link between the two, but that players should understand the risks and make their own decisions about playing.

“Are there still injuries? Yeah. It’s a violent sport,” he continued. “You’ve got big, fast, strong guys running into each other. Something is going to give. But there are risks involved in the game, and everybody that plays the game understands those risks. It’s not like they’re going into it not knowing that something could happen. And so they have to — personally have to weigh those risks versus the rewards.”

Watch some of Fedora’s remarks here:

While we’re looking at Twitter, one can imagine the fun that some users are having with this one. You guys don’t have to imagine anything, as we picked out some of our favorite responses on the social media site and posted them below.