Changing for Good

May 29, 2011
In all sports, players are at risk of suffering from injury. Sure, in previous years players have been injured too, but there has been an increase in injuries that is getting viewers, and definitely players, a little worried. Within the sports world there has been many unusual and gruesome hits, tears, and breaks. From the legendary Joe Theismann career ending leg injury to one basketball player getting his eye popped out of its socket. From skaters getting their throats slashed opened to hockey players almost killing each other in fist fights. An especially new concern NFL players are having is the risk of getting a concussion. Just this past week four players received a concussion. Nasty hits are the main cause, and can leave players out of the game from a week up to the whole season.

Not only are players receiving head injuries, but also neck injuries. Even college players have shown an increase in the number of injuries. On October 16, 2010 Eric LeGrand, a Rutgers defensive tackle, was tackled and suffered a spinal cord injury, resulting in paralysis from the neck down. The injuries suffered by these players don’t just impact their sports career, but their life and how they live it. For example, in 2003 David Edwards was playing in a high school playoff game. He was hit and paralyzed from the shoulders down. Due to complications he died when he was 20. Because of that football injury he never got to fully live his life. If you think about it, he wasn’t even old enough to legally drink.

The injuries caused by sports do play a role in ending player’s lives, even though some of the injuries are completely unnoticeable. Just because the injury is not visible doesn’t mean it’s not there. Owen Thomas is an example of what I mean. Thomas was your average college football player, and he was extremely well liked by everyone. In April 2010 he committed suicide. His suicide was from the result of brain damage he received while playing football. That is so terrible. What if that was your cousin? Friend? Brother? What would you do, knowing that what he loved also caused him to take his own life? I couldn’t live with that, not that I really would have a choice. That sort of thing changes people forever. So what are the NFL and NCAA going to do about it? They thought about putting more padding in the helmets. But how much is that really going to do? There will still be neck, back, and leg injuries. We can’t just have people stop playing sports altogether, can we? The game needs to change, before the game changes us for good.

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