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A Small Town’s Fight Over America’s Biggest Sport

Across the United States, parents and school districts have been wrestling with the question of whether the country’s most popular and profitable sport is too dangerous for children. Today, we explore how that dispute is playing out in one Texas town. Guests: Ken Belson, who covers the N.F.L. for The New York Times, spoke with Jim Harris and Spencer Taylor in Marshall, Texas. For more information on today’s episode, visit

Background reading:

  • Repeated blows to the head while playing football have been linked to a degenerative brain disease called C.T.E.
  • Football is a powerful, cultural force in Marshall, a city of about 24,000 people in East Texas. But residents, coaches and educators have questioned the safety of a sport they cannot imagine living without.

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