Tip of the Concussion Iceberg

Posted: May 23, 2012 in sports
Tags: ,

Certainly we should all take seriously the increase of concussions and their long-term effect on athletes. While the sport of football is at the forefront of this discussion, it also is a major concern for such sports as soccer, motor sports, hockey, boxing, skiing and X Games events.

The debate is being brought to a head by a growing number of lawsuits filed on behalf of former NFL players. Can lawsuits on behalf of former college players be far behind? I won’t be surprised if one day lawsuits are filed for players from even lower levels of football.

These lawsuits could eventually prove to be the death of football and other sports. Changing the rules and developing better equipment are obvious answers to lessening the problem, but it will never completely go away as long as athletes’ heads are at risk.

That’s certainly the case for football. As former Michigan State Coach Duffy Daughtery once said, “Football is not a contact sport, it’s a collision sport. Dancing is a contact sport.”

If football or any of the other sports I mentioned become true contact sports based on Daughtery’s interpretation, then all will be in grave danger of surviving. Certainly there is nothing wrong with trying “clean up” the sports, but how can possible head trauma being totally eliminated?

The survival of the sports rests with participants taking personal responsibility and the courts ruling in favor of free will. If you play football, for example, you accept the risk of injury as long as you are provided proper equipment, supervision and education.

There was a time when Congress actually contemplated outlawing both football and boxing. There are intelligent people in positions of authority who have advocated putting an end to motor sports.

All have survived and football and motor sports have become incredibly popular. They survived because common sense prevailed.

I hope that’s the case now.

 

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