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In an article by ClassAction.org, they give us insight on three separate cases that all ask the same question: What are sports doing to prevent/treat concussions? Below are three different sports and what they are (or should be) doing to prevent or treat concussions.
Football: Many would think one would be happy with a $765 million settlement; however that is not the case with many former National Football League players. Many players believe the recently submitted settlement contains problems that could leave out many former players. Also other problems by those who object the deal include “limits on compensation for certain injuries” as well as “not doing enough to cover those who suffer from mild traumatic brain injuries”.
Despite some objections, the league is heading in the right direction as $75 million of the settlement will be for a baseline assessment program, screening players for impairments caused by concussions during games. Another $10 million of the settlement will be spent on education and prevention measures.
Hockey: The NHL finds itself in a tougher spot than most other sports. Not only is it (as well as the NFL) full-contact sports, but it’s the only “power sport” that allows fighting in its games. In fact, in a lawsuit filed by 10 players, it specifically accused the NHL for failing to ban “fighting and body checking,” while allowing this avoidable risk by “continuing to employ hockey players whose main function is to fight or violently body check players on the other team.” The NHL’s focus should be on education, real-time prevention and long-term care.
Soccer: A lawsuit was filed on August 27th by a group of parents and players which stated their belief that FIFA being “negligent in monitoring and caring for head injuries among both adult and minor players.” What makes this case unusual is that there was no demand for monetary compensation. Instead, the case looks to change to rules especially in games involving children. Some of the rules/practices the lawsuit wants to look at or introduce include:
- Per-game limit of headers
- Temporary substitutions
- Medical Testing for brain injuriesAt the end of the day if each of the sports handle concussions better they will be rewarded with healthier players and which will tend to result in better games. Whether each of these sports are able to get a better grip on this issue is something to keep track of over time.