A viral video showing a dangerous youth football drill in California is sparking outrage online among football fans and former players and coaches — and has prompted an investigation by the school district.
What are the details?
The drill, which appears to show pairs of players lining up to repeatedly tee off on one player, reportedly took place at El Cerrito High School in California’s Bay Area, KABC-TV reported.
Students speaking with the news outlet said the video is from 2019, though it only began gaining traction online in recent days after a popular football-related Twitter account posted it. As of Tuesday morning, the video had more than 2 million views on Twitter.
KABC added that a spokesperson for the West Contra Costa County Unified School District confirmed that the district is aware of the incident and is looking into it.
“This behavior is unacceptable and inconsistent with WCCUSD’s values,” spokesperson Raechelle Forrest said in a statement to the news outlet. “The safety of our students and staff [is] our top priority and we take these matters very seriously. The district is currently conducting a full investigation, and we will take the appropriate steps pending the investigation’s results.”
Several former football players and coaches stepped in to condemn the drill.
“This is so far out of line, it’s horrible. Who can ever justify this?” tweeted former NFL coach Jim Mora. “If a coach teaches this, he isn’t someone you should ever allow your kid around. This is horrible.”
ESPN football analyst and former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky condemned the drill as “child abuse.”
Famed college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit piled on, claiming the coaches in charge of the practice should be fired immediately.
“What is this drill called??? How to make kids quit playing football for the enjoyment of a few idiot little league coaches,” he tweeted. “Parents do your homework-DO NOT ALLOW your kids to play for coaches that do drills like this. This IS NOT FOOTBALL!!!! Fire the coaches immediately!!”
Former NFL offensive lineman agreed, adding, “FIRE THESE COACHES ON THE SPOT.”
Certainly, at times during a football game, a player may have to fend off two players at one time — and that is something that can be practiced appropriately.
However, at no point during a game will a player be tasked with fending off a relentless stream of double-teams coming at full steam. Yet that is precisely what coaches appear to be drilling in the video.
So not only is the drill entirely impractical, but it is obviously dangerous for the player being hit by double-teams repeatedly.