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Professional Football Continues to Ignore Concussion Dangers

It is truly tragic to read the story in today's New York Times, For Jets, Silence on Concussions Signals Unease.

Despite the overwhelming evidence of the long term consequences following a concussion, professional football teams still refuse to acknowledge what is not accepted medical science.  The problem includes team physicians who are being payed by the team and have an obvious conflict of interest when it comes to making return to play decisions, teams themselves which refuse to set strict policies and players who are taught that a ding is no big deal.

But now, outside medical experts are beginning to raise the heat on these teams.  One such expert, Dr. James Kelly who wrote the original standards on concussion management for the American Academy of Neurology is quoted as saying "They arrogantly assume that they are doing the right thing when it's obvious to outsiders that they mismanage the situation, Cherbret being the prime example.  It looks like they have something to hide."

Also criticizing the NFL is noted concussion expert, Steven Guskiewicz, chairman of the department of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina.  He along with his colleagues have published several papers on surveys of more than 2,000 former N.F.L players that found a correlation between a player's concussion history and later-in-life clinical depression, cognitive impairment and early on-set dementia.  Gurskiwicz says that the league continues to ignore his findings and recommendations.

Players need protection and if the league is not capable of making sound decisions to protect the safety of it's players, then it's time that Congress step in to act.



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