Recently, the swell in American head injury awareness and concussion concern has crossed the Atlantic and now hovers over both European soccer and rugby.
The symptoms have manifested themselves in similar ways to how they did in the USA: Medical experts and some athletes are pushing for changes in the sports to better prevent head injury. Traditionalists are resisting any sort of modifications. Officials are unwilling to accept the severity of the problem. And discussions are being held at the government level about reform.
It comes as no surprise that the reactions to this concussion awareness that we saw in American contact sports, particularly football, are emerging internationally. It is, however, a little surprising that it has taken this long for other countries to start taking head injuries seriously – especially given the enormous amount of information generated in recent years about concussions’ harmful and sobering effects.
Though the head injury spotlight has been on the NFL and football, concussions are no discerners of persons. And though the frequency of concussions may vary from sport to sport, when they do occur, they are always harmful and have the potential for long-reaching consequences, whether in American football or in rugby across the pond. Here’s hoping that both in the USA and abroad, player safety will continue to become a priority for all sports and that athletes’ brains safer in the future for it.
*Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.