Attention Parents: If you have been paying attention to the news in recent months, you may have noticed an increase in the number of stories dealing with football and subsequent head injuries. Recent tragic events have brought this conversation into the forefront of public conversation and many people do not know who is to blame when it comes to head injuries, football and the fallout surrounding this topic of discussion. While it is certainly a complicated issue, everyone is in agreement that something needs to be done in order to protect players and limit their chances of becoming a victim of head trauma that tends to affect them later in life.
Who Is to Blame?
There have been several players implicated in this complicated issue surrounding head injuries. However, the biggest offender in this whole mess has to be the NFL who has neglected the player’s safety for years. But where does one go to file your customers complaints? The legal system might be the best place to start in a situation as serious as this one, but how can you be sure that your complaint will be heard? Case in point: It was not until a recent lawsuit brought up by former players and the national news headlines surrounding former NFL players’ suicides that the NFL had no choice but to begin to address this issue. If the National Football League had addressed the issue of head injuries in football at the onset of the problem, several players, past and present, and their families could have been spared the trauma brought on by repeated head injuries.
Another entity that deserves some of the blame is helmet manufacturers. While the game of football has become more violent over the years with regard to putting “hits” out on certain key players, as players have grown stronger and faster, the equipment has virtually remained unchanged. If helmet manufacturers would take the time to produce a safer product, players may experience fewer head injuries while playing the game. This industry should not be relegated simply to the business of making money, rather this is about life and death.
In addition to the NFL and helmet manufacturers, the entire culture of NFL followers can be blamed for the recent epidemic of head injuries. Even with the well documented cases and statistics we have about head trauma and their after effects, players have still said they would go back into a game after suffering a blow to head if they were allowed. A lot of these football players would make this decision because of the culture and their commitment to the game. By not wanting to let down their teammates and prove themselves worthy of playing the game at that level, football players are more than willing to risk further harm to their bodies. In order for the issue of head injuries to be fully addressed, the culture surrounding head trauma in the NFL must change.
How Do We Address the Problem?
While there is no clear answer to this issue, there are a few steps we can take as consumers who cater to the problem in an effort to help address it. The first thing we can do as a society is to make some noise at the lowest levels of organized sports. By implementing safer rules and equipment that specifically takes head injuries into consideration at the youth football level, the culture will change for the better as those players continue to move up the ranks to high school football, college football and eventually the professional league.
Parents can help get this movement started by speaking to their individual league directors to see what can be done to reduce head injuries such as rule changes specific to their league limiting the kind of contact players can have during practice and games. Also, parents can lodge complaints with national governing bodies of youth sports such as USA Football to put pressure on all of the youth leagues around the country in an effort to take proactive steps toward reducing the number of head injury cases seen each year amongst youth football players.
As more research is conducted regarding concussions and head trauma, we will start to learn the full effects potentially violent sports, such as football, can have on our bodies. When the football culture gains a full understanding of what a seemingly simple blow to the head can mean with regard to present and future health issues, changes can will begin to be made in order to make the sport of football considerably more safe for players at all levels. Taking a proactive approach and finding innovative ways to be proactive in the process of manufacturing safe equipment is the best way to address the issue in conjunction with recent donations to science from former players who have dedicated the memory of their lives to help find a solution to this growing problem.
As a mother of a former football player, Heather Shipp is acutely aware of past and present dangers that come along with the territory, and is blessed to have been fortunate enough to survive 9 years of being a Football Mom without accident nor incident. However, for those who are equally concerned and maybe have a child or a loved one in a sport that has experienced a trauma that has largely been ignored by the affiliated associations regarding said sport, a great starting point to file your customers complaints may very well be a site like Gripevine. It’s simple, free and easy and most importantly, results-driven. In the world that Gripevine lives in, good customer service isn’t a mere suggestion, it’s the very key to overall success.