Is Your Head in the Game?
Sylvester Manning III
Essentials of College Writing/COMM 215
June 11, 2012
Is Your Head in the Game?
The rate of concussions in contact sports is at an all time high and steadily growing at an alarming rate. With no definitive solution to this problem in sight, provisions must be put in place in order to protect our youth and professional athletes alike. Precautionary safety measures have been lackluster, and research on the issue, all but forgotten. With the advancements in technologies it is up to the authorities and more importantly the people to implement more effective means of safety, education, unyielding policies and severe punishments in ...view middle of the document...
How players come into contact with one another varies from sport to sport, but when the rules of the sport allow for active engagement such as in football, hockey, and wrestling these athletes are at a significantly higher risk. These sports require the use of personal protective equipment, which is intended to reduce the risk of injury. But there have been debates that the very gear that’s created to protect them, allows them to take unnecessary even more dangerous risks that may have been avoided, if the gear were not present; as the advancement of safety materials and protective gear develops the games become faster and inherently, more dangerous. According to the American College of Sports Medicine 85% of sport related concussions go undiagnosed (Shaw, 2011) and even when these concussions are diagnosed they rarely are dealt with in the proper manner. A 2007 study showed that more than 50% of athletes returned to play in 9 days or less, from that, 30 to 80 percent of those still had post-concussion signs and symptoms. Players are being told that they’ve just “had their bell rung” and after a barrage of smelling salts and treatments such as, “how many fingers do you see?” These players are being released back into these games, sometimes even the following play.
The American Academy of Neurology’s guidelines state that no athlete should be allowed to participate in sports if he or she is still experiencing symptoms from a concussion (Halstead, 2010) this is not happening. Concussions in sports have become center stage in the past few years. The affect of contact sport related injuries and their damage to the brain in the past decade have been brought to light and if they’re not taken seriously and precautions to avoid this misfortunate occurrence, incidents such as what’s been seen throughout the National Football League could be the result of our “commitment” or lack there of. In the past 3 years 3 NFL legends have committed suicide while another 20 have been diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (C.T.E) a degenerative disease, and the thousands of individuals, family and friends who have taken up lawsuits against the NFL for withholding information that linked football-related head trauma to permanent brain injuries.
The responsibility doesn’t lay solely with the authorities, coaches, and players but it also the obligation of the parents and spectators to get educated, if the expectations of entertainment are to be upheld then the safety of the athletes must be paramount. In young people age 15-24, contact sports are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury behind only motor vehicle crashes (Barton, 2008) this is...