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And The Game Goes On…

Posted on: July 29th, 2014 by Romanucci & Blandin

Today the NCAA settled a class-action lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund aimed to support thousands of current and former college athletes by identifying if they suffered traumatic brain injuries while playing football, hockey, soccer and other contact sports.  As part of the settlement, the NCAA will also donate $5 million to “research the prevention, treatment and/or effects of concussions.”

 

While this may seem like a momentous step, it is a far cry from a solution as it no way eliminates the risk associated with playing these dangerous and potentially fatal sports.  It is a band aid.  So too, is the highly publicized “no tackle law” which prohibits tackling during off-season football practices in an effort to reduce the risk of concussions.  The sport as we know it must drastically change in order to prevent such injuries.

 

In addition to the $75 million settlement by the NCAA, the NFL is currently being dogged with multimillion dollar lawsuits and payouts. Even last month’s World Cup games sparked debate within the soccer community over the incidence of concussions and the need for greater regulations.  These cases all acknowledge these sports are extremely dangerous and potentially fatal.  Yet the game goes on.

 

With that our children are receiving the message from media, parents and athletes they admire that brain injuries and the effects of this trauma, including dementia, personality disorders and heightened suicide risk, are condoned.  This is a detrimental message for our youth.

 

While these recent actions can be a catalyst for change, they will only be effective if it prompts a more critical investigation into the future of sports for all players.

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