From the time you begin catching your first ball, to getting your first tackle, to accomplishing successful milestones, the injury risks begin. People don’t understand the numerous amounts of risks with playing sports at such a young age and how they can affect your life immediately.
Yes, injuries can somewhat be prevented, but we need to take a stand on such an ongoing topic. Concussions in sports have been in the mainstream of media for years, but it has become a very serious issue. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 250,000 sports-related concussions or traumatic brain injury were diagnosed in individuals in 2009.
A concussion is best defined as temporary unconsciousness caused by a blow to the head. The term is also used loosely of the after effects such as confusion or temporary incapacity. Symptoms related to concussions include dizziness, forgetfulness, blurriness, nausea, vomiting, etc. A concussion can obviously happen to anybody but athletes are the main target for concussion-related diagnoses.
Source: Medical News Today
Football is the sport of concussions even as bad as that may sound. No helmet technology or rule is going to change that. It’s a long ongoing process that is constantly affecting athlete’s brain’s and disturbing their lifetime expectancy day in and day out.
Over the span of the previous four years, there were 967 diagnosed concussions. Numbers and statistics do not lie, this is a serious problem.
Below is an illustrated graph demonstrating the average number of concussions reported by each National Football League (NFL) team.
Several people came out and voiced their opinion regarding this matter. One person in particular that expressed their opinion is Calvin Johnson, who was a pro bowl wide receiver who was a member of the Detroit Lions before retiring prior to the 2016-2017 NFL season.
When asked why he retired, he stated, “Concussions happen. If not on every play, then they happen like every other, every third play, you know. With all the helmet contact, guys hitting the ground, heads hitting ground. It’s simply when your brain touches your skull from the movement or the inertia, man. It’s simple to get a concussion, you know. I don’t know how many I’ve had over my career, you know, but I’ve definitely had my fair share.”
He did not blame the league or anyone in particular for this, but just blames the culture of the game which makes sense to me because it is like anything else that bears risks. You understand these factors before playing the game, it’s just your choice to play or not to play. I guess you can say this is true, but is the culture of the game really worth it?
With the amount of concussions happening per year in the NFL, another issue arose regarding Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). According to research, CTE is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes (and others) with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head. A study done at Boston University that was released in October listed that 87 of 91 former NFL players who donated their brains to science tested positive for the disease. Here is another statistic for you, those 87 out of 91 players who tested positive marks 95.6% of the entire sample. Is this saying something? I sure hope so.
Some people are saying this is only for attention, big named players aren’t going to open their mouths and voice their opinions. Well, check this out and see who made the list. NFL Players Affected by CTE
Don’t you think its time for something to be done? Well, the NFL made it start.
The league implemented a new policy in July 2016 which enforced concussion protocol that players had to pass in order to get back on the field. This seems to be the first step in making the sport safer for all athletes who have a ongoing love for this sport.
With all this being said, the issue of concussions on NFL players became so noticeable, that it hit Hollywood and “Concussion” was produced in the year of 2015. The movie provided the audience with the severity and seriousness of this matter and how blinded people may be regarding concussions and what they entail in the later parts of someone’s life. If this doesn’t help illustrate my point on the severity of concussions on NFL players, well I am not quite sure will.