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A video that went viral online has sparked outrage among sports fans and parents.
American youth football organisation Pop Warner has now launched a formal investigation after a clip posted on social media showed a monster helmet-to-helmet collision between two children during a training drill.
In the footage, the two kids can be seen running full pelt at each other and using their heads as battering rams during the contact.
One of the children is hit so hard that he's sent flying into the air before crashing to the turf in a heap where he lay motionless.
The person filming the incident eventually comes over to help him, simply saying: "you're good."
The original video instantly went viral online and has now been seen by almost 7 million people on Twitter.
While the caption for the clip read: "Are they too young to be doing this drill?"
Are they too young to be doing this drill? pic.twitter.com/lA8G9U86Wx
- Young Black Jesus (@Zeekncashe) May 11, 2021
Someone from Pop Warner clearly saw the confronting clip and the organisation wasted no time in investigating the matter.
"We are deeply disturbed by this video and are investigating. If, in fact, it was Pop Warner coaches leading these drills, we will take action," Pop Warner spokesperson Brian Heffron told Fox News.
"What we saw was dangerous and, frankly, offensive to the overwhelming majority of our coaches who teach the sport the right way. We expect every coach to adhere to mandated training and focus on the proper, safe progressions of tackling techniques, including practice against dummies, particularly at such a young age.
"Over the past 10 years Pop Warner has instituted a number of player safety rules, and this example runs counter to our practices."
USA Football weren't too pleased with the drill either.
"This is against everything that we in football stand for and has no place in our game - it is an affront to the millions of mums and dads who coach youth football with the greatest care for their kids," the sport's governing body told Fox News.
Too young is one thing, poor teaching of technique is another, teaching bad technique is far worse, and then seeing bad technique played out at full speed can be tough to watch.....younger age is fine with great oversight and teaching.
- Mike Golic (@golic) May 11, 2021
"USA Football's Recommendations for Youth Play, endorsed by national sports medicine leaders, strongly prohibits what was seen here. Since 2012, more than 700,000 youth coach certifications have been completed through USA Football. This video distorts how today's youth football should be taught and played, which is safer and smarter than at any time in its 90-plus year history."
The comments section on the video was littered with angry parents and sports fans voicing their concerns with the video.
But while some took aim at the coach, others seemed more divided and argued that this was - in fact - regular practice in youth sports.
Ex-NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky was in the category of people who were totally and utterly against it.
"This is one of the dumbest things I have ever seen in youth sports," he tweeted.
This is one of the dumbest things I have ever seen in youth sports.
1-they look to be like 7-8 years old. There's not need to be doing anything close to this
2-one if OBVIOUSLY outmatched and that's on the coach
3-whoever put this drill together should face consequences
- Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) May 11, 2021
"1. They look to be like 7-8 years old. There's not need to be doing anything close to this.
"2. one if OBVIOUSLY outmatched and that's on the coach.
"3. Whoever put this drill together should face consequences."
Elsewhere, former NFL wide receiver Torrey Smith tweeted: "Attention all parents! If your kid is doing this drill. Take your child off the field and don't go back to those stupid coaches. Coaches like this aren't safe and ruin the image of football."
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@Zeekncashe
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