NFL HEALTH AND SAFETY UPDATE — JANUARY 31, 2013
Players comment on allowing their children to play football
During Super Bowl week, and throughout the season, NFL coaches, current and former players have weighed in on whether they would allow their children to take part in contact sports like football. Below is a synopsis of their comments, many delivered this week from New Orleans during Super Bowl media availability:
“Football’s a great game. Obviously it’s a great game for NFL players, it’s how we make a living, but most kids who play football aren’t going to make it to the NFL. It’s such a great game because it teaches you about life and lessons and there’s so much to be gained by participating in football. It’s served us all well and just to continue to have this conversation and continue to talk about it and just do whatever we can to make it safer whether it be through rule change or research.”– Matt Birk, Baltimore Ravens center
“Anybody that’s played [football] knows what a great game it is. What it provides for young people, what it provides for people like me is an opportunity to grow as a person. It’s challenging, it’s tough, it’s hard. There’s no game like football. It’s the type of sport that brings out the best in you, it kind of shows you who you are?I think it’s a huge part of our educational system in this country and it’s going to be around for a long time.”–John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens head coach
“If he wants to play, he can play. He’s his own man. With little kids, you don’t have to really worry about them that much, but as you get older, you have to learn how to play the game a little better. I think the NFL is trying to do a great job with that right now trying to teach the little kids to understand. It’s just football. It’s going to be physical.”–Alex Boone, San Francisco 49ers guard
“Football, as far as the game, is a great game. It’s great for young people to play, it’s been great to me, it’s been great to my boys…We’ve allowed the perception of the general media to be slanted in a view that football, somehow, is barbaric, dangerous, and out of control game, and that all other activity that people can do, kids or anyone else, is safe.”– Tony Boselli, former NFL offensive lineman
“With the new technology that they have, I think it’s more catered to preventing concussions. I would want my son to play football, but it’s something that’s not in his blood. It’s something that he doesn’t want to do right now and I’m not going to push him. But I think for all the kids out there who play, it’s a drive to make the game a safer game. Nobody wants kids to be hurt. Nobody wants adults to be hurt. With all the technology that we have, cell phones and text messages, why can’t we make better equipment? It’s coming. The game is going to be safe. And I think the thing is for everybody playing to go out and not think about injury. Go out and have fun.” — Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback
“To each his own I suppose but let me be real clear right from the start; if I had a son I would absolutely let him play the sport of football. In fact, I would highly encourage it if he were so inclined.”– Ross Tucker, former NFL offensive lineman
“I will not go through my life scared and I don’t want my children to go through life scared. I started playing football when I was eight years old and I would never not want to give that opportunity to my children.” — La Var Arrington, former NFL linebacker
“The game is safer than it has ever been because we’re being proactive with head trauma.” — Merrill Hoge, former NFL fullback
New York Times reports on Virginia Tech Revising STAR System
This week, the New York Times explained that Virginia Tech’s Stefan M. Duma and Steven Rowson are enhancing the STAR system they developed to analyze a helmet’s ability to reduce concussions. The developing method, which will incorporate the acceleration from linear blows to the head as well as the impact from blows that rotate the head, aims to collect additional data to help helmet manufacturers further limit a player’s chances of sustaining a head injury.
Duma and Rowson will release the advanced system’s findings on football helmets in 2014 and hockey helmet results this fall. The testing will also be extended to assess youth football, baseball, softball and lacrosse helmets.
For the full story, click here.
ESPN reports on NBA players and concussions
ESPN.com recently captured the experiences of current and former NBA players who suffered concussions. As Jason Smith of the Hornets put it, “If you have a sprained ankle you can see it swelling in the ankle. If you have a concussion it’s kind of like where’s the bruise? Let’s put some ice on it. Oh wait, you can’t do that because it’s a concussion. It’s one of the more scary injuries that I’ve ever had.”
For the full story, click here.
NFL Player Care Foundation Transitioning Wellness Fair screens former players at NFL Player Engagement event
On Jan. 19, a Transitioning Wellness Resource Fair was held at the Georgia Institute of Technology as part of NFL Player Engagement’s Career Transition Program. Thirty retired NFL players received free health screenings at the fair. For those who needed more medical attention, health care professionals at the screening referred them to doctors to work with them on treatment plans.
To learn more about the NFL Career Transition Program, click here.
To learn more about the NFL Player Care Foundation, click here.
– NFL Communications