By Ken Reed
I read two concussion-related stories this morning. One, was a blurb about former NFL player Adrian Robinson, Jr. Robinson, who played for several NFL teams during his short career, killed himself at age 25. Wednesday, an autopsy confirmed that Robinson had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease linked to repeated blows to the head. Robinson suffered several concussions during his football career.
“He went from being one of the nicest guys you’d ever want to talk to, to having a darker edge at times,” said family lawyer Ben Andreozzi. “The family started noticing changes in his behavior and didn’t know why.” (See “Adrian Robinson, Jr. had brain disease … http://es.pn/1NHJ1xr)
Now they do.
The second piece I read was a column by former NFL player Ross Tucker. The Princeton-educated Tucker has a provocative question in his column today: “If you suffered a concussion bad enough that it kept you out of action for four weeks, would you contemplate never playing again?”
Tucker said he definitely would consider retirement.
Luke Kuechly, a linebacker for the Carolina Panthers, is in that very situation today. He hasn’t played since suffering a concussion in the season opener. However, he’s expected to take the field this week against the Seattle Seahawks.
Kuechly certainly isn’t alone among today’s players when it comes to suffering from the effects of a football-induced concussion. For one, New England Patriots center Bryan Stork can’t play for at least the first eight games this season due to a severe concussion.
The San Francisco 49’ers Chris Borland announced his retirement earlier this year due to concerns about concussions and CTE. Will others soon follow?
We’re not talking about torn ACLs here. Knees can be fixed. We’re talking about brain injuries. The brain is the seat of your personality. CTE will slowly destroy your personality.
Is it worth it?
I’m guessing more and more players are going to say “No” as we keep learning more about how dangerous football is to the human brain.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world, with over 150 camps in 30+ U.S. states and Canada. We discuss problems in youth sports today, including single sport specialization, the growing gap between the “haves” and “have-nots,” the high drop-out rate in competitive sports, and the growing mental health challenges young athletes are dealing with today.
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Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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