By Ken Reed
Tom Brady’s wife says her husband hid concussions from the New England Patriots last season.
Drew Brees said he would conceal a concussion from his wife.
As Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins wrote recently:
“The problem is that they have signaled to four million high school and college football players that hiding symptoms is what the great ones do. . . .”
Brady and Brees are either ignorant about the issue of brain trauma and its impacts or simply overflowing with ego-based machismo.
But they’re adults, and deserve to make their own decisions regarding their health. The problem is the message they are sending to the millions of young high school and youth football players in this country. These youngsters’ brains haven’t fully developed yet, making them even more susceptible to serious brain injury than Brady and Brees are.
“We’re seeing an incredible lack of leadership among NFL players,” Chris Nowinski, co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation says.
You might say, “What’s the big deal?”
Here’s a big reason why it’s a big deal: A study of college football players published in the Journal of Neurotrauma showed that only one in every six football concussions is actually diagnosed. That figure could very well be worse at the high school and youth football levels, where games are often played without trainers on the sidelines.
The NFL needs to do a better job educating its athletes.
And NFL players — especially the stars — must be more aware of the power of their words — positive and negative — on impressionable high school and youth football players.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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.
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