Monday, February 1, 2010

GMs say the darndest things!

In a recent article in the Toronto Star, The GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs took a stab at explaining the dangers of contact sports for youth athletes
At some level, if a player is going to move up the ladder and continue to play, it's contact hockey. This is a contact sport. You play a contact sport. There's going to be injuries. It's that simple. Now, if you don't want your son or daughter to get hurt, there are lots of wonderful options. Have them swim or have them golf. He might throw out his back, but he's never gonna get a concussion.
Unfortunately, he doesn't show the sense and class of Justin Rizek, the 13-year-old quoted in the same article, who decided to hang up his skates after his 3rd concussion
"I was going against the boards and a guy hit me from behind. I came back to the bench and threw up everywhere.... After that, I decided to hang my skates up and not play any more."

Now that Congress is planning a forum looking at concussions in the NCAA and youth sports (cite), perhaps there will be some protections or educational programs put into place to help protect kids like Justin...

In related news, ESPN missed an excellent opportunity to educate kids about the dangers of concussion after Shawn White's crash in warm-ups. Even though he passed medical tests and was cleared to compete, it sure looked like he sustained a concussion... a few words on the need for medical clearance, oversight, or neurological testing?

Meanwhile, the list of athletes willing to donate their brains to postmortem concussion research continues to grow (cite)