contact” (HealthDay News). Players need to start thinking with their head instead of manipulating it. In light of this conversation, youth sports programs are either being terminated or they are taking more precaution towards their young athletes. In Ken Belson’s report on youth athletic clubs being terminated in Texas, he reports that youth sport directors think it simply is not worth it to continue many of their club sports teams if it will cause extreme head trauma (Belson). If these programs stay alive, they heavily regulate them to prevent head injuries from occurring. With less head injuries occurring at younger ages, athletes that do decide to go pro are less susceptible to developing life long diseases caused by concussions, like CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative disease believed to stem from repetitive brain injury. It is also disturbing that America glorifies a sport that scars players with dementia and CTE ( New York Times Editorial Board). The American people are not aware of the damage football has done to many Hall of Famers of the NFL. The seriousness of many brain injuries from the NFL are taken for granted. If the NFL does not deal with the concussion issue soon, it will no longer be a popular sport to glorify in America (Lundberg). People need to start taking the injuries more seriously in order for it to stay alive in America. According to a study performed by PBS.org, 50% of NFL players never missed a game after receiving a concussion. This statistic may not be accurate since one-third of all concussions in the NFL are left off the injury report. Jason M. Breslow from PBS also reported on numbers from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University, where researchers studied the brains of 165 people who played football at the high school, college, or professional level. They found evidence of CTE in “131 of them—79 percent”. Of the brains studied, “91 of them belonged to former NFL players, and 87 of those 91 (96 percent) had signs of CTE” (Breslow). If
Michalopoulos 8 players use their shoulders or upper body rather than their head to tackle the opposing team, the NFL could disassociate themselves from their bad reputation linked to brain related diseases caused by concussions. Steven M. Rothman, a pediatric neurologist, argues that parents are being too overprotective of their children when they receive a concussion by calling every doctor to make sure their child is okay. He believes teens should stay in sports to prevent obesity at a young age. He thinks too many teenagers who face little chance of long-term brain injury are being kept from playing in healthy organized sports out of an excessive sense of caution. Although Dr. Rothman brings up valid points, there are other ways to stay active instead of engaging in a contact sport. Teenagers do not need to be apart of a sport in order to stay healthy and be as active as possible. Even though participating in a sport makes it easier for children to be active, it does not mean that any other cardio workout does not promotes healthy living. Besides staying
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- Winter '08
- Traumatic brain injury