The Modern Problems with Concussions

CPS Footballer Emmanuel Adesanya Weighs in on the Biggest Debate in Sports

The Modern Problems with Concussions

Emmanuel Adesanya, Sports Editor

Have you ever seen a teammate come to a practice with a new, sleek, cool-looking helmet, or noticed a teammate from the previous year no longer playing? Parents, athletes, and coaches cannot stress enough the importance of protecting the head, but society seems not to take an interest in bruises, broken bones, or even heart-related maladies. Even the worst of these battle scars takes a back seat to the change in mental state due to traumatic impact.

The most mystifying injury in all sports strikes fear in the hearts of athletes’ parents nationwide: is the worry over concussions justified?

The Class of 2020 (the current eighth graders) only has 13 players total on their football team; the reason, it seems, is that fear of injury keeps many prospective footballers sidelined. Even at the highest level of play, we see former players unionizing to expose the NFL’s negligence in recognizing and reporting the symptoms of concussions. Each year, a new study comes out suggesting that the league and its constituent teams are putting players’ lives on the line for the sport. Consequentially, even those who aren’t necessarily interested in the game — such as members of Hollywood — are paying attention. Director Ridley Scott and his crew recruit big names such as Will Smith, Luke Wilson, and Alec Baldwin in Concussion to bring to light the league’s supposedly willful ignorance on the matter. The film is described by its Wikipedia page as “a dramatic depiction of American football players who suffer from major head injuries and life-long debilitating problems as a result of repeated concussions and efforts by the National Football League to deny it.”

The best solution to this problem isn’t just a proper helmet. And it isn’t medicine, or even keeping your sons away from the game. Staying informed can save lives and is the most immediate remedy. Parents, coaches, and players should constantly discuss safety and what is best for any athletes potentially affected by concussions. After all, if football is so dangerous, why aren’t all the participants laying in hospital beds trying to remember the sentences just spoken to them? One final decision on reformation will not solve problems anytime soon. Communication — particularly with rational “cool heads” — is what is needed to solve this challenge.