Geoff McDonald & Associates wins the biggest settlement for Virginia in 2020 for $38.2 Million. Click for details.

Rookie’s Retirement Brings More Attention to Football Brain Injury Risks

Apr 14, 2015 | General News

When we think of reaching our retirement age, most of us imagine ourselves relaxing, with gray hair and surrounded by grandchildren. However, for professional football players, the health risks of the job – specifically brain injuries – may prompt retirement at a much younger age.

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland, for one, recently announced his decision to retire from the sport at the age of 24. The reason: Fear of damaging his brain, even in the face of fame and a lucrative contract, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Borland’s fear is not unwarranted. Brain injuries are common wherever there is repeated impact. These injuries can lead to physical and mental disabilities.

Football is a particularly risky activity. High school football players suffer concussions – a mild form of TBI – at a rate of 11.2 concussions for every 10,000 games and practices, while the rate for college football players is 6.3, according to a report by the Institute of Medicine.

Among NFL players, the rate of concussions has dropped – but still remains high. In 2014, the league saw 202 concussions over the course of the season, the Associated Press reports.

Even small hits can add up to serious damage. Several prominent NFL players, including Dave Duerson and Junior Seau, took their own lives. They were found to be suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurological disease which can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts, the Washington Post notes.

The Risk of Brain Injury for Young Players

It makes news when a professional football player such as Borland retires in his early 20s. However, researchers and parents are also now beginning to question whether football is a safe sport at even younger ages.

One reason why football may be risky for children is that their brains have not finished developing. The nerve cells in their brains do not yet have full protective sheaths. This means that an impact to the head is more likely to result in a concussion, as a recent article in Slate.com describes.

Slate reports that a Wisconsin woman believes her son’s participation in youth football led to his suicide at age 25. Like Duerson and Seau, it was found that he had CTE. The woman has brought the case to court, seeking to hold the Pop Warner national youth football organization responsible.

In response to concerns, Pop Warner has instituted measures such as training coaches to better recognize concussion symptoms. Still, some experts are convinced the sport is inherently far too dangerous for kids, Slate reports.

How Parents Can Help Kids Play Safer

There are certain ways to reduce the risks for young football players. In a Huffington Post column, Charlotte Jones Anderson, a Dallas Cowboys official whose two sons play football, discusses some of the steps parents can take.

For instance, parents can:

  • Teach their children about tackling or blocking in a manner in which heads are less likely to collide. This is called using “heads up” technique.
  • They can also limit the amount of time that a child plays per week and be certain to seek medical attention at the first sign of a possible head injury. On that note, parents should verify that coaches are certified (or at least properly trained) to recognize those symptoms.
  • Parents should also make sure that the child’s helmet fits correctly and demand that coaches provide a new helmet if it does not.

It is impossible to eliminate all the safety risks that our young children face. However, these simple steps can go a long way to protecting a young football player’s health for the long term.

If you believe your child has experienced a sports-related brain injury due to the negligence of others, you should take steps to protect your legal rights. Just call Geoff. You can reach our firm and speak to a personal injury lawyer in Richmond by phone or through our online form today.

Geoff McDonald and Associates: 866-369-9051.

FREE CONSULTATION

No Fees Unless We Win





    Our Top 5 New Years Safety Resolutions for 2017

    Well, the holiday leftovers are dwindling and 2016 is drawing to a close. You know what that means: New Years resolutions. New Years resolutions are famed for being generally unrealistic and abandoned by mid-January. It is possible to be successful in setting goals...

    Super Bowl Parties and the Dangers of Drunk Driving – A Checklist

    The Super Bowl is more than a big game. It’s an annual occasion when people gather with friends and family to eat and drink and watch the game. Alcoholic beverages are common at Super Bowl parties so be careful not to let anyone drink too much and drive. If you’re...

    Richmond Youth With Disabilities Gain Job Skills

    May marked the graduation of more than 90 Virginia high school students from Project SEARCH, a job training and placement program that serves Virginia students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. More than a third of the students had jobs by the time...

    Our Case Results

    $4,700,000
    Industrial Plant Accident

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Jeffrey A. Breit and Justin M. Sheldon Our client was killed in an industrial accident when an unauthorized worker was operating an overhead crane and pinned our client between…

    $1,750,000
    Rear-End Crash

    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury, facial trauma, a dislocated hip and severe abdominal trauma when she was rear-ended at a traffic light by a tractor trailer. Suit was commenced shortly after…

    $1,250,000
    Assault of Log Truck Driver

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Geoffrey R. McDonald, Frank H. Hupfl, Justin M. Sheldon.
    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury after being assaulted and knocked to the ground while fueling his logging…

    $860,000
    Drunk Driving Crash

    Our client suffered neck/head trauma and a broken wrist after his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver while he was stopped at a traffic light. Upon rejection of a settlement offer of $325,000, our litigation…

    $700,000
    Rear-End Collision

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Justin M. Sheldon and Geoff R. McDonald, Richmond
    GMA’s client was injured as a result of a rear-end collision in the greater Richmond area. The crash occurred a little after…

    Client Reviews

    Cheryl and Rich were wonderful and patient with me throughout the case. All of my questions were answered. They really helped me through this tough time and made sure to let me know what was going on. I really thank Geoff…

    Troy Saxby

    My experience with GMA staff was first rate. They always represented in a professional way and made sure I had everything as far as paperwork. Kara and Theo made sure to answer all my questions, was always available and so…

    Shirley Brown

    Geoff McDonald & Associates is the team that you want on the field if you’re in need of top notch legal defense! Mr. Taj Henley demonstrated true customer service skills and his expertise made me feel comfortable throughout the…

    Julian Reeves

    Geoff McDonald & Associates: Thank you Taj Henley for all of your hard work and dedication! Very expeditious in my case and I was very satisfied with my settlement. Will recommend to all my friends and family!

    Shareema Williams

    Geoff is number one in my book and I especially appreciate the support of Mr Henley

    Ebony Conwell

    I was so pleased with the knowledge and support from Mr. Taj Henley

    Kideem Frierson

    Thank you Geoff McDonald &Associates. A special thank you to Mr. Taj Henley

    Denise Conwell

    Mr. Taj Henley displays exceptional professionalism for Geoff McDonald & Associates, along with commendable communication skills and customer service. By his work ethic and commitment to the people he serves his value to any…

    Justin Fitzgerald