I was very happy to learn of San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland’s announcement of his early retirement from the NFL at the young age of 24. His proactive concern for the long-term adverse effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI), ultimately initiated a chain-reaction among his fellow athletes.
In the past year alone, several NFL players have announced their retirement due to head trauma or related injuries:
• San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis
• Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker
• Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds
• Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice
I have been practicing law in Ohio for over 34 years and, as you can imagine, many of my clients suffered a traumatic brain injury. Every time a closed head injury is sustained, it accelerates the onset of brain injury symptoms including; memory loss, depression, and dementia.
What I’d like to see:
A mandatory educational program for young high school football players [and all other sports,] that requires each student-athlete to spend a day at a traumatic brain injury trauma center. An athletes’ exposure to the risks and long-term effects of brain trauma will help him make an educated decision about playing football and/or other contact sports.
My prediction is this: as we gain access to more and more clinical studies, it is becoming a truism that closed head injuries are an inevitable by-product of football. Of equal importance is the new data that clearly demonstrates just how severe, permanent, and debilitating closed head injuries are.
While clinical data in and of itself is very educational, nothing is more compelling than the emotional testimony of former football players
When you watch Tony Dorsett talk about how his once proud existence has been reduced to a nearly full-dependency on others just to get by, one has to ask themselves, “Is it worth it?”
I blogged in January of 2015 wherein I said this is just the tip of the iceberg. That tip continues to emerge, and as it does the hardcore evidence will put football on any level—pro, college, high school and pop warner leagues—in the exact same category as cage fighting.
It is incumbent upon parents and coaches to fully disclose the inevitable consequences of this crazy violent game to their children and players, respectively. If they don’t they will most assuredly be the subject of civil and/or criminal prosecution.
Let’s face it—football is a sacred cash cow for a plethora of professional, college and high school programs. So how can we reduce the number of sports – induced traumatic brain injuries?
While flag football does not offer the crowd-pleasing violent impact of the traditional game, the action is fast and furious. Most importantly, the incident of closed head/traumatic brain injuries is exponentially reduced.
Be proactive like Borland and Rice, and understand the implications of sports-induced head injuries! The only way to reform sports-related brain injury guidelines is to educate our children, parents, and athletic staff on the dangers of traumatic brain injuries caused by contact sports. We must work together to find ways to minimize the injury risks associated with contact sports.
Is a traumatic brain injury worth it?
Chris Borland’s answer wasn’t just “no”; it was “hell no”!
If you or a loved one was a victim of traumatic brain injury, you have to call me right away 1 (800) 556-4769. I can help you get the compensation you deserve. As your Ohio catastrophic injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 1 (800) 556-4769.