Monday, March 11, 2013

Head Injuries: Risks That Athletes Should Be Aware Of

One of the biggest issues facing sports, if not the biggest, is the multitude of concussions and brain damage that has been caused for many athletes who play football, rugby, and hockey. For years now, former players have sued leagues and now they instill fines to players who make helmet-to-helmet contact.  However, there is no real way to instill such rules, because these players already make millions of dollars and they would rather make a nice hit, because that is the way the game is supposed to be played in their minds. And they are right. 

I am not saying that this problem should not be so highly discusses, on the other hand, I believe there is no way to fix the problem, so the leagues should take a different approach to the issue of concussions and brain damage. I believe instead of changing the rules of the game, the NFL should make the risks of brain damage more available to players. I believe rookies and every player should have to attend seminars about brain damage and concussions, so they fully understand the risks of stepping out onto the field.

(Interested in learning more about head injuries in sports? Check out the movie, Head Games.)

These concerns have now spread to Australia, where a former player stated he has a degenerative brain disease after having sustained four serious head injuries during his career. Because of this, representatives from Aussie rules, rugby league, rugby union, and football, will be taking part in a two-day conference to discuss the long-term effects of brain injuries on their athletes. I believe this is the right first step in helping to solve the problem. 

However, it is important that these representatives pass on what they learn to the actual athletes. It will be interesting to see what comes from this conference, which will take place in Melbourne on March 20-21. I would look out for more of this in the NFL and NHL and NCAA Football programs in the very near future.  


Michael Proska is a freshman at Drexel University from Springfield, PA pursuing a Sport Management degree along with a minor in Statistics. Along with being a writer for the SMTSU blog, The Sports Complex, he has an internship with Drexel Athletics in the promotions and marketing department. Michael is a member of the Army ROTC at Drexel University.  Michael is the Secretary for the SMTSU.  Follow Michael on Twitter @mikeprosk.

Connect with Michael Proska on LinkedIn.

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