In this essay, ethicists grounded in philosophy (Curren) and law (Blokhuis) argue that the US public schools' sponsorship of tackle football is ethically indefensible and inconsistent with their educational aims. Their argument relies on three ethical principles and a growing body of evidence that many students who play football suffer traumatic brain injury and cognitive impairment that undermine their academic success and life prospects, whether or not they suffer concussions. The authors also address educational claims made on behalf of football, the legal principles governing custodial responsibilities of schools and parents, factors that limit the moral and legal significance of children's consent to participate in football programs, and evidence that sponsorship of football programs subjects educational institutions to unsustainable financial risk.

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