The Trickle-Down Effect of Making Sports Safer
Eliminating hits to the head from all professional sports will ultimately trickle down to high school sports all the way to pee-wee.
You know, I think that's a good question. I think you see the culture change. You see John Madden on his video games, Madden 14. Now, I don't play video games, but in Madden 14 he has put concussion in the video games. Kind of changed the mindset, understanding that if you get a concussion, you're out of the video game. So, the same thing that's happening everywhere-- you see commentators like Cris Collinsworth and the ESPN commentator, that happens to be on our comitee, talking about concussions, and there is a trickle-down effect from professional sports. Hockey--there is the huge buzz about taking head shots out of hockey, because of what happened to Sid Crosby, arguably one of the best hockey players in the world. People are paying attention. They realize there needs to be a culture change about taking the hits to the head out of all sports, and when you do it at the professional level-- professional basketball, baseball, soccer, football-- it trickles down to the NCAA to, then, the high schools, then the youth sports, then the pee wee sports. It's going to be a while, but that culture change will happen, and it will happen from the top on down and the bottom on up. We teach the kids the right way, then when they're professional athletes, they'll do it. And if you teach the pros that they are role models in this particular issue, more than any other issue, you'll understand that the culture will change.
Posted on BrainLine October 23, 2012.
Produced by Vicky Youcha, Ashley Gilleland, Justin Rhodes, and Erica Queen, BrainLine.
Richard Ellenbogen, MD is a University of Washington professor and chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery. He is chief and attending of neurological surgery, Harborview Medical Center and the co-chair of the NFL's Head, Neck, and Spine Committee.