By Ken Reed
France’s Benjamin Pavard said he was knocked out in a soccer game against Germany this past week. Nevertheless, the France medical team allowed him to play on.
France’s team doctor reported that Pavard wasn’t knocked out. However, at the least, there had to be some doubt as to whether or not Pavard had been knocked out and possibly suffered a concussion.
According to the governing body, Uefa, a concussion protocol signed by all 24 nations competing at Euro 2020 stated that if there are “doubts about unconsciousness or signs of concussion” a player should be removed from the field.
The decision to allow Pavard to continue playing against Germany was “sickening” according to Peter McCabe, the CEO of Headway, a brain injury organization.
“It was plain for all to see that Pavard was unable to protect himself from the fall,” McCabe said.
”Pavard’s later statement that he lost consciousness confirms the seriousness of the incident. (H)ere we have yet another example where it is simply not credible to suggest that a concussion could not be ‘suspected’ or a possible consequence of the impact. However, after a brief on-pitch assessment the player was allowed to continue.
“The way this incident was handled was sickening to watch. Uefa has to come out and immediately explain how it was allowed to happen and what action it will now take to ensure something similar does not occur in the future.”
The concussion protocol signed by all competing nations, including France, had the following definitive statement:
“We confirm that if a player of our team is suspected of having suffered a concussion, he will be immediately removed from the pitch, whether in training or match play.”
That sounds good on paper but if it’s not followed on the soccer pitch it’s useless.
American football has received a lot of criticism regarding how it handles brain trauma, concussions and CTE through the years, much of it well-deserved. But European football might be even worse when it comes to these issues.
“We’re really worried about it because football seems to be a long way behind some of the other sports in terms of protocols and just in terms of the way how seriously they’re taking concussion,” says FIFPro vice-president Francis Awaritefe. FIFPro is the worldwide representative organization for 65,000 professional soccer players.
— 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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