The rapid pace of cultural transformation on some health issues has been pretty impressive. Think about how quick major public conversations about health and safety have been about tobacco, seatbelts, and trans-fats. In these cases it didn’t take long for laws to be changed based on health concerns.
I think we are on the verge of a new way of thinking about head injuries and sports. Probably one that will come with new laws and regulations. As a marker of these changes let us note that several NFL players are suing the league for it’s antiquated approach to head injuries.
Furthermore, the court documents say the league concealed the dangers from coaches, trainers, players and the public until June 2010, when it publicly acknowledged the health threats and warned players and teams.
“While athletes in other professional sports who had suffered concussions were being effectively ‘shut down’ for long periods of time or full seasons, NFL protocol was to return players who had suffered concussions to the very game in which the injury occurred,” the lawsuit states.