A Bang on the Brain: Concussions in Sports

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Like a lightning bolt in a violent rainstorm, concussions strike instantly and leave behind lasting repercussions to athletes everywhere. Within the last fifteen years, concussions have been brought to the forefront of the sports world.

A concussion occurs when the brain hits up against the inside of the skull during a sudden, rapid movement of the head.  They can lead to a loss of consciousness, loss of vision, loss of hearing, and in extreme cases, symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Many top athletes have had this brain injury occur, such as Junior Seau of the San Diego Chargers (NFL) and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL).

New rules are being put into place throughout the sports world in order to protect against concussions, but are these rules enough? And are concussions truly an issue in sports today?

Braxton Young, a student at Snow College stated, “I think that the leagues are doing enough to stop concussions from happening, and I also think that the athletes that sign up to play football, or any other contact sport, know what they are getting into, and understand that there is a possibility that a concussion could happen.”

Jaron Maxfield, a kicker on the Badger football team commented, “Concussions are serious things that happen to athletes. Concussions can really affect the situation of the mind.  It is a lot more dangerous than some people are making it out to be.”  He also went on to say, “I think professional athletes and commissioners are doing their best to prevent concussions with the materials and rules that they have in place.  My brother-in-law’s brother was a player on the New York Giants the year they won the Super Bowl. Not long after, they found him dead at 26 years old due to the serious hits and concussions he suffered while he was playing.”

There are many opinions on the matter of concussions; fans and players take their stance on the subject with each new piece of evidence that surfaces.  Are they something to worry about? Or should people just carry on and understand the potential consequences?  It is something that everyone must decide for themselves.

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