By Ken Reed
The Houston Texans’ Tom Savage was down on the ground. His hands were shaking uncontrollably, like he was having a seizure. He had taken a brutal shot to the head and it was clear he wasn’t right.
Yet, minutes later, he was back on the field playing quarterback. Somebody on the Texans’ sideline permitted Savage to re-enter the game. Shortly thereafter, it became increasingly clear he had suffered a concussion and he came back out of the game.
There’s an ongoing problem here. What is it in the NFL’s concussion protocol that allowed him to be cleared for additional action? How can millions of people watching on TV realize that Savage should be removed from the game and not allowed to return but medical personnel on the Texans’ sideline can’t?
This is serious stuff. Athletes that return to play too soon following a concussion are at higher risk for a rare but serious, and sometimes fatal, condition known as Second Impact Syndrome.
Moreover, the issue at hand isn’t just about the Savage case. There have been multiple situations this season, and in recent years, in which the league’s concussion protocol has failed miserably, putting the health of players in grave danger.
Following a situation in which Colt McCoy was allowed to return to a game after suffering a concussion in a 2011 game, players, coaches, doctors and fans called for a new system.
“There are league-wide problems in procedure, and that’s what needs to be addressed,” said former Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita. “You can’t point your finger at any one thing. It’s the process.”
Well, it’s December 2017 and the process is still messed up. And it needs to be addressed immediately, before a player dies on the field from Second Impact Syndrome.
“Football is a violent game where brutal hits occur. After years of denying any correlation between the game and head trauma, the league is now butchering how to handle its preventative measures—both proactive and reactive.”
It’s all simply shameful.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
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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