In the wake of the Antonio Brown helmet saga, it entices the conversation of safety amongst athletes of all levels of play. The NFL standout, refusing to wear any other helmet than his outdated Schutt Air Advantage lid, displays a lack of concern for safety. Most individuals would disagree with him. Including parents of high school and college athletes.
Many leagues, organizations, and companies surrounding the sport, state that player safety is of utmost importance. However, This doesn’t seem to be the case with some of their actions. Football helmets are progressively getting more sleek and stylish designs. But, are they really becoming more safe along with these stylistic updates?
It starts at a very young level of play, especially in the football haven state of Texas. Pop Warner and Riddell have just entered into a new deal last December that would supply the league with helmets all over the country. These helmets also must align with the same rules the NFL uses for their equipment guidelines.
The NFL and Pop Warner football are similar in the way they assess valid helmet concerns. Both leagues have rules in place concerning the helmet’s effectiveness. The rule that mainly restricted Brown was the 10 year rule. If within the last 10 years a helmet is manufactured, it is eligible for competitive play at both the NFL and Pop Warner levels.
Considering that most helmet manufacturers claim that they design safer helmets every year, wouldn’t a 10 year old helmet be rather unsafe? More or less for today’s standards anyways? Shouldn’t they close that window to five years, or even three years if they’re really concerned for player safety?
Although it would be more expensive to outfit players with new helmets every year, the expense would certainly be worth it. Teams issuing more expensive and safer helmets to their athletes would be beneficial in the long run for not only the sport, but also the club, school, and athlete.
Football helmets are without a doubt the most evolving piece of equipment in sports. Leagues allowing players to use fairly out of date equipment is a dangerous lack of judgement. There are no statistics that show how many concussions could have been prevented if a player had been using a more modern helmet. However, one can infer that there is a fairly responsible correlation when it comes to that unknown statistic.
Many helmets state on the back of the outer shell that it is impossible to prevent concussions. This may be true, but the newer helmets are showing better ratings for impact resistance that are slowing the rate of these head injuries.
With these injuries, the NCAA is facing a dilemma. Former student athletes are filing lawsuits against the NCAA at a mountainous scale. Not just a few, but 300 lawsuits. There have been even more regarding head injuries as well.
Many Texas Longhorn fans will remember Greg Ploetz. Ploetz played defense for the Longhorns in the 60’s. His widow reached a settlement with the NCAA over his head injuries that had caused him to eventually perish. The lawsuit ended in Dallas with the two parties agreeing to an undisclosed amount only three days into civil trial.
This was a huge deal when it came to the fight in holding organizations liable for injuries that they profited off of. Especially huge since it came from the fabric of football: north Texas.
Younger Players Having Issues
Many people would preach that “these brain injuries only happen to players that were in the NCAA or the NFL.” That is not the case. In 2018 an Oregon high school student’s parents sued their school district for failing to properly respond to his concussion. He now suffers from headaches, vision problems, and light sensitivity. It’s also prohibiting him from being able to drive as well.
A 22 year old named Cody Hamberlin drowned after he had a seizure while he was on a boat. The seizure occurred to Cody because he had so many concussions from football. The autopsy report states that he indeed did have CTE.
From 2009 to 2016, there have been 2.7 million diagnosed concussions amongst high school athletes. With this outrageously large number being mostly from contact sports and a majority of that percentage being football, it has to be expected that even more lawsuits will come forth. Especially since the NCAA and NFL haven’t done anything truly proactive in preventing concussions.
Have You Struggled From Past Concussions?
Have you suffered from repetitive ongoing headaches? Is the light a little too sensitive for your taste? Are these effects caused by either a sports-related injury or a car accident? Get the financial compensation you deserve for your struggles. Call the Reyes Browne Reilley Personal Injury attorneys today and begin your case. You can reach us at (214) 526-7900