Nine-year-old girl breaking barriers in youth football, is safety a concern?

A nine-year-old girl is taking the internet by storm with her football skills. Sam Gordon is the only girl playing in an all-boys tackle football league in Utah.

She is breaking down stereotypes that usually relegate female football players to the kicker position. However, Sam has made waves on the field with her physicality and fearless nature.

So far Sam's statistics this season: 35 touchdowns on 232 carries, totaling 1,911 yards and averaging 8.2 yards per carry. Oh and don't forget her 65 tackles, for good measure.

According to USA Today, Sam participated in the greater Salt Lake City area's Ute Conference in the Gremlin age group, which consists mostly of 9-year-olds.

She out-tested the boys in every speed and agility drill and was made the team's starting quarterback, which only runs plays on the ground.

Even more impressive is the fact that this was Sam's first year playing football!

She was motivated to switch from soccer after watching BYU games with her dad, Brent, according to a post she wrote on the Cougars' message board.

In fact, Gordon wears jersey No. 6 in honor of former BYU All-American running back Luke Staley, who now coaches an opposing team in her league.

In October, eighth-grade student AmiItna Barrett suited up as both a linebacker and running back for her middle-school squad in Houston. Also this fall, Erin DiMeglio made history when she became the first woman to play quarterback for a high school football team.

The underlying issue here is safety. There have been other girls who have played football, and it seems fine for older girls, but this 9-year-old, who weighs under 60 pounds, is playing against bigger and stronger boys, as the video clearly shows.

In an era of increased awareness of injuries and safety, is it dangerous for her to be playing tackle football?

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