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Finally! Pro Sports take a look at concussion dangers

October 19, 2009
A diagram of the forces on the brain in concussion
Image via Wikipedia

It sounds innocuous enough:  a pro football player got hit during a game and suffered a concussion.  We all think that this sort of thing might reasonably happen to a pro football player, concussions, injuries, that sort of thing.  But now, the NFL has begun to talk about the dangers of sustaining concussions, the links to depression, suicidal thoughts, cognitive affect.  Well, actually, they aren’t saying cognitive affect, I am.  But, pro football players are starting to talk about concussions too.

In a recent football game, see the link here, one player hit another player who may or may not have had the ball in his hands at the time.  The reason this has become a heated issue in the NFL is because the NFL has just started to talk about the dangers of sustaining concussions, and apparently sustaining concussions in a sport when you don’t even have the ball in your hand is more of a problem than if someone hits you when you do have the ball.  Having the ball in your hand, to most male commentators, justifies a hard hit that causes brain damage.  Go figure.  I can’ t really, because brain damage is brain damage to me, ball or no.

But, Wesley’s hit, as it’s called is provoking controversy about the concept of causing players long term damage.  I am happy the NFL has finally begun to talk about this, because head injuries occur even in children’s sports, but the common misconception has been that a “little concussion”  is no more significant than a bruise, except when you consider that it is the brain that is bruised.

It’s not a slight injury, a brain bruise, so why has it taken the NFL so long to realize that players may be affected long term from numerous brain bruises?  Check out the articles below.  It’s clear the NFL didn’t think that they would find any significant statistical data from studying head injuries.  I have been a longtime champion of making school officials pay attention to sports-related or playground-related head trauma’s, and it’s tough going.  Teachers all seem to think that kids are never badly hurt; apparently the same thinking was applied to NFL players.  But why?  What happens when we pay our players to  perform for our entertainment and then shrug off injuries that may be lifelong?  Well, guess that is what the NFL is for.  Here is the Asshole Business Award of the week, going to the NFL for not looking into this sooner and letting scores of players get injured and hurt off the field as a result of their injuries on the field.

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