Heads up: Top comment and controversy
Dying to Play
12 September 2012 08:36 AM
Parents in the USA will be less happy to let their children play American football after a study showed that pros are up to four times more likely to suffer from Alzheimer's and other brain diseases. In an op-ed for the New York Times, Kevin Cook lays out the case for a more safety-conscious sporting culture.
"No helmet can offer much help, since the injury occurs when a fast-moving body suddenly stops or changes direction. The brain keeps moving until it collides with the inside of the skull, causing damage that can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E."
But players who have been concussed are still encouraged to "man-up" and return to the field as soon as possible. This must change, says Cook. "Football needs a culture change: parents, coaches and fans must never pressure an injured player to “get back in the game” before it’s clear that he’s of sound mind and body."