In 2012, competitive cheer of all dangerous sports was ranked first in catastrophic injuries. Competitive cheer is more dangerous than football because football players have protective gear on and more controlled movements. Protective gear is used in about every sport but cheer. They are in more danger than football players because they have no protection.
If a cheerleader gets hit in the head, there’s no helmet as opposed to a football player who has a helmet for safety. In the New York Times Journal, they state that cheerleaders are more prone to injuries than any other sport. Back in 2014, a 14 year old girl, Ashlee Jackson had just learned her standing full on the trampoline . She was confident enough to try it on the cheer floor, but when she attempted the skill, she didn’t rotate enough. She ended up landing on her head so hard that she scraped a piece of her scalp off. She is now paralyzed from the neck down.
If a football player did this skill, his head would be protected by his helmet. The movements associated with cheerleading are far less predictable and uncontrolled than football. The Entertainment and Sports Programing Network (ESPN), did a study on the scientific aspects of sports and athletics. They reported that a competitive cheerleader falling from a basket toss that’s twenty feet in the air will collide with more force than a football player in the pros being tackled by a two hundred and seventy pound linebacker. During a competition at The Cheerleading Worlds in 2008, Lauren Chang was kicked in the chest in the middle of a basket toss.
Sadly, she died because her heart suddenly stopped when she was kicked. When cheerleaders toss an athlete in a basket toss, the range of motion should go straight up, but many complications could cause that athlete to go straight back to where she is out of reaching range to catch. This makes cheerleading far less controlled than football. Many who don’t know any better may say that football is more dangerous with helmets crashing into padding and bodies hitting each other.
This aggressive behavior may lead them to believe that football is a more dangerous sport. And you know why they are wrong? Of course with all that gear on you can run and crash into things because you’re protected by the padding. You’re less likely to be injured. Cheerleaders, on the other hand wear no padding or head gear. They twist, jump, are tossed up to twenty feet in the air, bodies are caught crashing into each other or on the floor, while high performance twisting can be paralyzing if timing is off. This two minute athletic performance is done with agility and a smile.Of all sports, no wonder competitive cheer accounts for 55% of all reported sports injuries.
This goes to show conclusively how cheerleading became a more dangerous sport than football.