When this lesson came up, steroids were the main part and the ethics of performance enhancing drugs. The NFL respectively was at the forefront of the discussion along with the IOC. But there is an issue relating to the team physician aspect and that has to do with the concussion and shots to the head issue that has popped up mostly in the NFL, but also been discussed in the NHL because of the seriousness of Sidney Crosby’s two shots to the head that has him out for almost a year now. For now I will focus on concussions and headshots of the NFL, as more information about the chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is a dementia like brain disease. The cause, hits to the head and multiple concussions, helped by players returning to the field too quickly after the team physicians clearance.
Scientific knowledge has changed quite frankly, because the athletes that had played in the 50’s and 60’s could now be studied with modern equipment. The rise in suicides of players and other mood changes led to the studying of their brains. The MRI’s.CAT scans gave a clearer picture of how their brain had deteriorated. Naturally, there medical history of concussions could be found, and in the older days of playing, shots to the head were common and encouraged.
This issue can be managed in a couple of different ways, in which some the NFL has taken up. Educating the referees and team physicians of what to look for when a player might have a concussion. Making them pass a series of test before they can come back to playing and making them sit the entire rest of the game is a start. The main problem is the headshots themselves, which the NFL hopes to reduce by fining people heavily for offenses and throwing flags. The education has come with that in the sense of educating the players on what could happen if they continue to lead with their head or go after someone else’s. Also, medical help to retired players that already have this and making the helmets safer will help....
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