Home > Uncategorized > Between the Pages: Concussions in Football Players

Between the Pages: Concussions in Football Players

Those who read this site on a regular basis know that one of my pet subjects is that of concussions in our young people who play football.  Well, today I came across an article in “Bloomberg Business” which further proves to suggest that exposing our children to full-contact football at an early age might not be in their best interests.

A study published in the journal Neurology studied the relationship between cognitive skills and the age at which former National Football League players began participating in the sport.  42 former players took part in the study.  Results suggested that those who began playing tackle football before the age of 12 exhibited greater difficulties with planning abilities, verbal memory, and word pronunciation than those who began playing later in life.

Now I’m going to recite some statistics which I found rather staggering.  There are only 1,700 professional football players in the U.S., while there are over 2.8 million youngsters who participate in the game.  (70 percent of the football players in the U.S. are below the age of 14!)  In 2013, a study showed that 50 football players, ranging in age from 9 to 12 years of age, experienced an average of 240 hits per season, some of them comparable in magnitude to those found in college games. 

In July of last year, Philadelphia U.S. District Judge Andrea Brody awarded preliminary approval to a settlement in which the NFLwould pay about 21,000 retired players who suffered from a list of qualifying injuries (including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) a total of $675 million.  This settlement is awaiting final approval at the present time. While 99 percent of those involved and their families have approved the arrangement, although many have not and have appealed for a greater amount.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has proposed to settle a $75 million negligence lawsuit by initiating a plan to screen all its athletes for concussions for the next 50 years.  And in November a lawsuit was filed by a former high-school quarterback against the Illinois High School Association, accusing them of failing to protect his health after he suffered multiple concussions while playing.

What do you think?  Comments are welcome. 

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. February 1, 2015 at 4:12 PM

    Reblogged this on Creating life with words: Inspiration, love and truth and commented:
    Thanks Jami, for bringing this very important issue to my attention, which I am sharing with my blog readers and friends, especially those of children paying any tackle sport. The stats re numbers, i.e. professional vs children, was indeed staggering. My youngest son still plays football, and has had a number of concussions, mild and worse, but do you think I can get him to consider the risk… of course not! I have to remain a fatalist, and hold onto the line I use so often, ‘we live until we die’, and it is up to as as adults to make those choices. But perhaps we have to be far more discerning when it comes to our children. Where I live, sport is such an integral part of life, and to not play sport in Australia especially as a child can almost mean no friends, the pressure to participate, regardless of the risk is very high. Anyway, enough rambling from me, thanks for sharing this one.

    • February 1, 2015 at 5:33 PM

      Kate, I always value your opinions. And I do see your point. I guess that all we can do is make our children as safe as possible, and trust the powers that be to do the rest.

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