This fall, every NFL locker room will have a new poster detailing
the long-term side effects of repeated concussions. It's the latest
attempt to change the way those in football think about treat head
injuries. For an organization that has frequently drawn fire for not going far enough to warn and protect players against head trauma, the NFL's decision seems a positive step. Is it?
A Seismic Event Alan Schwarz of the New York Times--who first broke the story--calls it "by far the N.F.L.’s most definitive statement on the cognitive risks of football." For those wondering how a poster could be so momentous, Schwarz says it is important to consider where the NFL concussion policy began. Seeing a league-sanctioned document that uses "words like 'depression” and 'early onset dementia" is "both staggering and overdue."
Still a Tough Sell to Players Chris Chase of Yahoo! Sports argues that as long as "playing hurt" continues to a point of honor in football culture, it's doubtful any meaningful progress will be made on concussions. If a player doesn't concern himself with concussions or thinks one could never happen to him," writes Chase, "then those 15 symptoms listed on the top right [of the poster] probably won't resonate if they present themselves after a big hit."
Financially Motivated SportsGrid's Glenn Davis says the poster is just smart business. "Fans enjoy the game because of the violence and, to some degree, danger involved," writes Davis, "but the appearance of being too dangerous could hurt the league’s robust bottom line."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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