National Concussion League
Hailey Gajadhar, SPORTS COLUMNIST
I don’t have a lot of bad things to say about the National Football League.
But I don’t think the NFL is doing enough with their concussion protocol. They need to work with players to find a safe solution to a critical flaw.
In the first week, Cam Newton, quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, was involved in two helmet-to-helmet collisions. He did not leave the game. Newton wasn’t even examined.
According to sbnation.com, the new concussion protocol says, “When a potential concussion is identified that player shall be removed immediately from the field.”
The NFL didn’t follow protocol in Week 1, with 36 seconds left in the game. Why not? The hits were obvious and violent.
I know football players are tough. They’re born with a tough, resilient nature, but where do we draw the line? How do we enforce safe games if the players won’t admit it when something is wrong?
Do we make athletes stop playing? What happens if the team starts losing after taking their player out without actual concussion symptoms? Will teams blame losses on removing the player from the game?
Will everyone see that the NFL is just trying to protect its players?
After being sacked in the third quarter, Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor was taken out of the Thursday night game in Week 2. He was allowed to return to the game three plays later after being assessed.
I can’t imagine that would be a fun time for Taylor. Anyone would be itching to get back into a close game like that. The Bills lost 37-31.
While I can understand why any player would be frustrated with being taken out of the game for three plays, I think this was the right call.
He was examined and then cleared to play. They treated this hit how all questionable hits should be treated. No hit to the head should be brushed away. Concussions are a real issue and have been proven to have long-term effects.
Forbes.com says Boston University found that 87 out of 91 ex-NFL players tested positive for brain disease linked to head trauma.
The NFL is making changes, and teams are fined for not following protocol, but is it enough? I don’t think so. I think a real conversation with players involved is the only way to get them on board.
Hailey is a self-proclaimed champion heavyweight boxer.
Coming in at 5’1”, she has the reach of a 12-year-old boy and an opinion that won’t quit.
Having never been in a fight, she remains undefeated.
Follow her on Twitter @HGaj