How concussions are damaging athletes everywhere
Adam Cichoski | Sports Writer
Photo Credit: Brooke Morrill, Photo Director, @brookemorrill
Today, sports are one of our biggest forms of entertainment. People love to play them, watch them, and professional and collegiate sports bring in billions of dollars annually. That’s not to say that they aren’t without risks. One of the scariest being concussions.
In the NFL several players have retired due to concerns about receiving too many concussions. The most shocking of which was Chris Borland, who only completed one season in the NFL and had a promising season before him. Fans who have never been subject to all the trainings about concussions that athletes now a day go through they wonder what are concussions and what about them frightens promising athletes to hang up the cleats and part ways with the things they love.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. Your brain doesn’t take up all the space in your skull, there’s room for it to breath. To translate in other words, when you get a concussion you hit your head so hard your brain whacks against the side of your skull, causing it to bruise and then swell.
Think about that, one of the most important organs getting slammed against the side of your skull. It sounds bad and often times it’s worse then it sounds. There are many long term side effects from a concussion. Research done by the University of Texas at Dallas says that some long-term effects of concussions are memory problems, personality changes, inattention, problems organizing, and language impairment, among others.
Concussions aren’t rare. Back in 2012, 3,800,000 concussions were reported. However, at that time the seriousness of concussions was just starting to be drilled into athletes on a large scale. Even today the majority of concussions go unreported because athletes don’t know they have one or they don’t want to have to miss a game because of it.
All levels in sports have noticed this problem and have been stricter when it comes to players and coaches. Many players after suffering a head injury are now required to spend more time out than they would have only a few years ago. They are required to take baseline tests at the start of every season as well as go through concussion training.
As fans we need to recognize and appreciate the work being done to help these players maintain their health. Sports are a wonderful thing, and a great form of entertainment. We need to always remember that the players are people, and we should be concerned for their safety.
My name is Adam Cichoski, I’m a junior at UVU studying Journalism. Sports is my passion, especially football. I’m originally from Las Vegas, Nevada. My plan after school is to pursue a job in sports journalism.