Football, although fun and exciting, plays an immense role in many long term health issues especially for people who start at a young age. The sport’s injuries include long term health issues such as chronic encephalopathy, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia; it also can be a reason for domestic violence, and on some occasions, unnecessary death. There are many factors that can persuade parents to believe that football is a safer sport than it was before, but the long term effects of a simple injury from the sport outweighs it all. In Ed Riley’s article, High School football’s benefits outweigh risks, Riley talks about the concerns that any parent would have when it comes to their child playing football. As a physician and medical researcher
In fact, Ed Riley says that football is no more dangerous than glee club, band, or choir. Riley cites a study by the Mayo Clinic which looked at seniors who played football from 1946 to 1956 on high school football teams in Rochester, Minnesota. This was back at a time when football headgear was not as protective as it is today. The researchers were looking to see if these now-elderly former football players were more likely to have developed Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and dementia. They weren’t.
It 's the day after the super bowl, and kids across the nation will be waking up to a newfound interest in football. For many parents, that may be a scary thought. Football can often be a dangerous sport, and has caused many concussions in the NFL. "Certaintly, is a sport where we do see kids with concussions but there are many sports in which kids suffer concussions. Soccer is a sport, in which, kids on average suffer just as many concussions if not more concussions than football," said Dr. James Coleman.
The brain itself is very very important to the human body because it controls each organ and organ system. In football, however, tackling someone could cause countless of head injuries and concussions. Several of these injuries could even turn to deaths. Researchers found that a “former NFL players who started playing tackle football before the age of 12 performed an average of 20% worse on series of cognitive tests than those who started playing tackle football after they celebrated their 12 birthdays…”. Other research has
America is obsessed with sports and competition, and one sport that signifies America is football. Today many professional football players across the country suffer from a common injury which is a concussion. This injury can threaten an athletics career and most of all permanently injure the brain. Former retired NFL players now deal with short term memory loss, and depression because of this brain injury. The increased amount of concussions in athletics today calls for more education on diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of traumatic brain injury.
However in "Trends in Concussion Incidence in High School Sports: A Prospective 11-Year Study", The American Journal of Sports Medicine found that from 1997 to 2008 the concussion rates in football had increased by an alarming 8% annually. In fact high school football accounts for over 50% of all high school concussions. And around 1 in 5 high school athletes will suffer a concussion. The big worry in football isn’t so much one or two concussions, even though these events can be very severe and have a negative impact on kid’s lives. What is the most damaging is a few concussions and many sub-concussive hits.
Some of the symptoms include: headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating or completing tasks, Irritability, and the sense that you “just don’t feel like yourself”. According to Dr. Maryse Lassonde, “even when the symptoms of a concussion appear to have gone, the brain is still not yet 100 percent normal.” In a study done on athletes that had concussions 30 years past then now have symptoms of parkinson's. Also further tests showed that past athletes who had a concussion experienced a thinning of the cortex in the same part of the brain that Alzheimer's
Following the season league officials and doctors got together to discuss the issue and they wondered if there was simply more concussions or if they just identified them better and more efficiently. “47% of all sports related concussions occur during high school football” (Head Case - Complete Concussion Managements). From 2012-2015 in the NFL there was no huge leap but still growing, in 2012 there were 261 concussions compared to 2015’s total of 271. 3,800,000 reported concussions in 2012, double that from 2002. Annually, 4-5 million concussions happen and the numbers are rising among middle schoolers.
When student athletes participate in contact sports, they run the risk of getting a concussion. A concussion, according to The American Academy of Neurology, is defined as "A trauma induced alteration in mental statues that may or may not result in loss of consciousness". Short term effects could cause a change in mood, along with headaches and nausea; whereas long term effects of a concussion can range from drastic behavioral changes and mood disturbances to cognitive difficulties. These symptoms are very prevalent in student athletes that may get a concussion and can only get worse when one has been re-concussed. I believe that student athletes should be required to sit out for a longer period of time following the events of a concussion.
The major complaint that everyone says about high school football is that they get injured to often and those injuries are very serious. But for majority of the time, players do not get injuries that restrict them from practices or games. Erik Weber stated in an article that "Fewer than 10 percent of players incurred an injury, and of those injuries, 64 percent were minor
Finally, critics on the handling of the issue may claim that concussions are still very much a threat in the NFL. This is true, however the number of incidents is on track this year to be even lower than last years. Concussions cannot be abolished entirely, they are present in every athletic activity, from Hockey to Gymnastics. Because of the effort, and the fact that it is showing results, the NFL should be credited for lowering the amount of concussions, an injury which is basically an occupational hazard of all athletes (excluding perhaps
After researching this topic extensively as well as talking to Dr. Peter Deluca who now acts as the head team physician for the Philadelphia Eagles I have come to the conclusion that concussions are a problem that are not controllable by the NFL. Dr. Deluca explained that these athletes are using the most up to date technology in the world as far as their padding and helmets go and unless hitting is completely eliminated from the NFL concussions is a problem that you will see not only within the NFL but also with every contact sport. Major traumatic brain injuries are something that needs to be taken more seriously especially in youth sports as well as in highs school. I strongly believe that there is more that the NFL can do to help protect these athletes and these athletes should be compensated for the injures that they sustain over the course of a given career. Some other things that I believe that NFL should consider to make the game safer include, Eliminating kickoffs, having a mandatory sit out period after sustaining a major traumatic brain injury, having more support programs for athletes who suffer from concussion issues such as short and long term memory loss and PTSD and lastly, Larger fines for helmet to helmet hits.
Body Paragraphs North Carolina has tried to combat this problem by implementing the Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act. Tim Stevens, a writer for the McClatchy - Tribune Business News, writes that this act is named for “Matt Gfeller of Winston-Salem Reynolds High and Jaquan Waller of Greenville Rose High, who each died from brain injuries sustained while playing high school football.” (Stevens 2011). To prevent sports-related concussions from happening again, North Carolina passed this act to raise awareness deaths caused by concussions being treating improperly. Research by Tim Stevens, a writer for The News & Observer in Raleigh, NC, shows that the act takes “current North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) requirements for handling concussions, adds an educational component and creates a state statute” (Stevens 2014). By providing knowledge about concussions to both student-athletes and parents, this act hopes to reduce the amount of reported concussions that occur while playing sports.
Several scientists, which were funded by the NFL, claimed that they had found evidence that connected brain and head injuries to a condition that mimicked ALS (“Injuries Mimic ALS”). One of the scientists, Dr. Ann McKee, stated that she had found proteins that proved to be toxic in the spinal cords of three athletes who had obtained head injuries and were later diagnosed with ALS. She said that the proteins were not found in individuals with CTE, a condition similar to ALS. A 2012 study had shown that NFL players might be at higher risk of diseases like ALS (“NFL Players”). The study included nearly 3,500 former NFL players, with 10% already having been passed away.