Over the years, the number of concussions in the NFL has increased massively. Between 2014 and 2015, the concussion percent rose over 30%. The most common reason for concussions in the NFL is head on head contact, which is why they banned “head slaps” for good. The NFL continues to think of new rules and policies that could possibly decrease the amount of concussions. For example, they’ve advanced the “roughing the passer” penalty to make it more strict and inclusive, as well as the “unnecessary roughness” penalty. So the question is, what are more effective ways the NFL could further prevent concussions?
In my opinion, the only reason NFL players still occasionally “bump heads” intentionally is because the consequence is bearable and not intimidating. The highest penalty for “unsportsmanlike conduct” is 15 yards in the current game. I think the consequence should be more lasting and punishing. I believe if a player is clearly headbutting on purpose and continuously, there should be talk of a possible suspension. The only thing 15 yards accomplishes is maybe a yell from the coach, but a short 1, maybe 2 game suspension will surely prevent players from making the same mistake. Also, most players keep quiet if they notice double vision, blurriness, or other symptoms of a concussion. They would rather play in the game and not miss any opportunity to compete. If players told someone right away if they were experiencing any symptoms, it would prevent their concussion from getting even worse. Even if this strategy won’t technically prevent concussions, it would stop the players from making the injury even worse. If a player notices any concerning symptoms, they should tell their coach immediately. Lastly, there are some ways players could prevent concussions by just being more aware on the field and knowing some strategies during play. All in all, even though the NFL has managed to decrease concussion numbers over the years, I think with these strategies, they could really put NFL concussions in the past.
On May 31, 2012, Justin Bieber suffered from a mild concussion. This happened backstage right after his concert, when he ran into a glass wall! “There was a glass wall behind me, but there’s a railing behind the glass, and so I went to reach for the railing and I hit my head on the glass. I guess me and glass windows don’t really go together! It really hurt.” said Bieber. After hitting the wall, he still went back on stage to perform his last song. While walking back to his dressing room Bieber told reporters, “I immediately felt really weak and then I was walking down the stairs and I passed out for like 15 seconds and I was unresponsive, like not talking, not anything!” Soon after he opened his eyes he went to a doctor and is okay.
Before hearing this, I remember seeing tweets from Justin Bieber about the incident. One said “@scooterbraun just got a call from @tmz about me running into a glass wall. i answered. gotta laugh at yourself sometimes.” And another said “i will see u again Glass. I will have my revenge. BIEBER vs GLASS. MGM LAS VEGAS 2013. lol. #GottaLaughAtYourself” It’s a good thing Justin is okay and can keep performing!
Should the pressure to get back in the game overcome the protection of the health of an NFL player? Is the competitiveness of the team more important than the player avoiding the risk of injuring himself even more? The players do get payed regardless of whether they’re playing or injured, and obviously no one wants to pay someone for doing nothing. But is this enough reason to have the players play with an injury? There is the possibility that the player can injure himself even more and be out even longer.
In my opinion, health should come before competition. Especially in the NFL, where all the players are incredibly strong. If a pro football flayer has a concussion and plays anyway, he can take another hard hit and do permanent damage to his brain. He will either just be out longer or for life, and both hurt the team even more than him being out for a shorter time and healing completely. For the player he can do irreparable damage that will end his career, and ruin the rest of his life.
Just recently I got a concussion in hockey. I was hit from behind against the boards, the kind of funny thing is the kid who hit me was the cousin of a kid on my team. The kid who hit me was huge, he was like 6′ 3″. It was like an awful birthday gift because it actually was on my birthday! I had to stay in the hospital for over three hours because the nurses had so many other people to get to before me.
We were in East Haven the day of the incident. It was a normal day like any other day would start. The game started and I was on my first shift, I actually did pretty good in that first shift. The second shift I was turning around going into my zone to the puck, skating my heart out, I knew I was going to get hit because I saw the kid coming at me. He was really fast so as soon as I was in the zone, I was going towards the puck, I got the puck. The next thing I remember was the coaches waking me up, asking me if I was okay. I had to get off the ice, go to the locker room take my equipment off as quick as possible so I could get to the ER. At the emergency room the nurse told me to do some tests to see if I could do some certain things. I could do all the tests but the thing was I was nauseous, light-headed and very dizzy. I had to stay there for like 3 hours because they were observing me seeing how I would do. I had to leave the hospital, because I had a birthday party to get to for me.
The result of the concussion was missing school for 2 1/2 days and not being able to bike, play hockey or even longboard. This time was miserable because of that. This experience will remind me to be very cautious when going into the corner, always look where you’re going and be careful. From this experience I will always wear a helmet no matter what activity I’m doing.