When the Baltimore Ravens’ victory in Super Bowl XLVII is no longer the hot conversation topic in professional football circles, talk will return to a subject that’s been with the game as long as the Super Bowl has — head injuries.
Their prevalence in football, and the National Football League’s history of downplaying their seriousness, was pushed into the spotlight this season in the wake of the suicide of Junior Seau and Jovan Belcher’s murder of his girlfriend and subsequent suicide.
At long last, players are talking about head injuries. But it remains to be seen what the league will do about it.
‘I’m Scared to Death’
Rodney Harrison, a retired safety who played for the San Diego Chargers and the New England Patriots, told the L.A. Times recently that he was “scared to death” about the consequences of the estimated 20 concussions he suffered in 15 years of playing in the NFL. He is worried that the symptoms, which already include headaches and anxiety, will become worse as he gets older.
The NFL, he said, didn’t talk about concussions. Playing through an injury was just a part of the game. Harrison told the newspaper:
“I would get up, hit someone, the entire stadium is spinning around, and I would walk to the sideline and they would hold me out for one play, they’d give me two Advils, and they’d tell me, ‘Get back into the game.’
Brain Injuries in Football — Still Ignored?
Repetitive brain injuries can result in a condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which can lead to full-blown dementia.
More than 4,000 former NFL players are suing the league, alleging it failed to educate and protect players from dangerous head injuries.
In the run-up to the big game this year, college football powerhouse Louisiana State University took some fire for canceling an event focusing on brain injuries at its campus in New Orleans, the Super Bowl’s host city for 2013. No explanation was given for canceling the student-organized event, which was supposed to take place three days before the game.
Traumatic brain injuries are serious matters that affect athletes at all levels, from youths to adults, as well as people from all walks of life. They can be prevented. If you have suffered a serious head injury because someone else put you at risk, contact the Brain Injury Law Center today to speak with an attorney.