Spring Update: New Plans and A Changing Landscape

Since my last post, the world of concussion awareness has continued to become more prevalent in the conscious of American and global society. FIFA, the governing body of global soccer, along with top league such as the English Premier League and the UEFA Champions League have adopted new in-game concussion protocols, and the discussion about concussions continues to develop in the world’s most popular sport. This past season in the NFL, the new rule that requires a Independent Neurological Consultant to evaluate players who are suspected of having a concussion was a positive step forward, though there is plenty of work still to be done to protect football players from concussions.

There have also been several articles written that have praised the concussion management and education work that has been done, reevaluated the effectiveness of these efforts, and proposed plans for the future. In light of the conference at Princeton that I participated in and which I wrote about in my previous post, Peter Keating wrote an article for ESPN citing Princeton Professor Uwe Reinhardt’s idea that NFL fans should have a health tax added to the price of their tickets to go towards players’ health care. Here is the link to this interesting article:

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11832476/why-nfl-concussion-settlement-stinks-how-fix-it

These types of innovative ideas may not be favored by all, but they do represent how major changes will likely be coming to the world of sports soon to push the bill on concussion prevention and treatment even further.

On a personal note, I have continued to work with Princeton University researcher Dr. Annegret Dettwiler-Danspeckgruber on ideas for research, policies to make Princeton University a leader in concussion management and education, and initiatives to make collegiate and youth athletics safer environments. I appeared on the award winning soccer XM radio show Over the Ball to discuss concussions in youth soccer and my work with Countywide Concussion Care, and it was a fantastic opportunity to spread my message on a national stage. The people who called in to the hosts after my interview expressed how they had learned a great deal from my story and were excited to apply their furthered knowledge of concussion awareness to their children’s youth athletic careers. As my time in college moves forward, I will continue to find opportunities to spread the word about concussion awareness and work with administrators of various institutions to foster safer spaces for youth and collegiate athletics. I cannot wait for what is next!

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