Growing pressure on NFL to address brain injuries
Football is a dangerous game when it comes to head injuries, both in the NFL and also on youth football fields. A 2010 study by Purdue University found that linemen, tight ends, running backs and linebackers suffer the must frequent head injuries. It’s no wonder why many of the highest profile NFL victims of traumatic brain injury, such as Junior Seau and Tony Dorsett, were linemen, linebackers or running backs.
More than 5,000 ex-players have filed a lawsuit against the NFL in federal court. In the lawsuit, the former players have alleged that NFL officials hid the dangers of repeated hits to the head while mythologizing the violence of their sport. The NFL reached an agreement for a $765 million settlement with the players, but the deal was rejected by Judge Anita Brody because she fears the sum is too low to adequately cover current and future retired player who may need long-term care.
Only In the NFL or Elsewhere?
It is not only NFL players experiencing these injuries; it is also youth, high school, and college athletes. The study Sports-Related Concussion in Youth: Improving the Science, Changing the Culture, said that few issues at the intersection of medicine and sports have generated as much public interest as sports-related concussions. In recent years there has been a growing awareness and understanding that all concussions involve some level of injury to the brain and that athletes suspected of having a concussion should be removed from play for further evaluation. The report went on to say that despite increased knowledge about concussions and the dangers, there is still a culture among athletes that resists both reporting and compliance with appropriate concussion management plans.
The problem has gained national attention. President Obama recently announced a partnership between the Defense Department and the NCAA to better prevent, diagnose and treat such injuries. Combined, the two organizations have made a $30 million commitment to increase concussion awareness education and conduct a study, involving 37,000 college athletes, to learn more about the effects of concussion and traumatic brain injury.
President Obama had stated that when visiting wounded warriors, he’s seen the same type of traumatic brain injuries as are happing in football and other sports. It was reported on military websites recently that members of the NFL’s Health & Safety Policy team met with high-level Army medical personnel and army medical traumatic brain injury specialists in an effort to increase the Army/NFL initiative on TBI/concussion program, which began in 2012 with a goal of increasing awareness among soldiers and athletes of mild TBI/concussion. Soldiers and NFL players seem to be having the same type of traumatic brain injuries.
The NFL is also stepping up its efforts to help protect kids. They contributed $45 million recently to USA Football’s Heads Up Football program to help young athletes learn the proper techniques to keep their heads safe while playing football. The NFL also committed to an additional $25 million in funding over the next three years to offer better concussion education to parents and provide more trainers at high school football game sin the hopes of increasing early concussion detection.
If your child has been injured, the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can fight for you. Call the Munley team at 855-866-5529.
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