Laws and Mandates Not Enough

According to Matt Chaney, a pseudo-contributor to The Concussion Blog and an individual who’s thoughts I respect, the bills and mandates being voted upon are not enough;

What is the National Football League up to?

Who do NFL yaks think they are, pushing the 50 states and District of Columbia to burden schools with fresh bureaucracy and expense by passing youth concussion laws that offer minimal protection while raising legal stakes?

A phat-assed, billion-dollar entertainment conglomerate dictates need for vital, cash-strapped public education?

NFL yaks in their glass tower still don’t get everyday America. They should grasp current news besides droning sports trivia, like several states’ succumbing to bankruptcy while all scrape to fund education, police and fire protection, water and sewer, and roads and bridges, among our necessities suffering shortfall.

Matt has a passion that is very palpable not only for the safety of kids but also the state of the game of football (see NFL).  This guy is not what some would consider to be a “hack”, Matt is and has been on the forefront of  issues such as steroids in football.  He not only has the investigative wherewithal as a journalist, he also EXPERIENCED it.  He wrote a VERY good book about it “Spiral of Denial: Muscle doping in American football“, so information from this source should at the very least project thought and provoke an audit of sorts about concussions, in my opinion.

And politicians can get real, especially those yahoos in state legislatures who go silly when an NFL suit like Browne shows up to spout BS, feigning virtue, high-class and authority.

If politicians want to get serious about head injuries in football, or truly protect kids while rejecting profiteers and influence peddling, constructive steps await them.

4 thoughts on “Laws and Mandates Not Enough

  1. BJ Maack February 26, 2011 / 12:21

    I agree with your comments. As a representative of the Arkansas Athletic Trainers’ Association, I can say that we are not asking for a concussion law in Arkansas. We would rather focus efforts on parent, coach, an athlete education, as this is where the real differences are to be made. Even more significantly, we would love to see efforts to get an athletic trainer in EVERY school. If every school had a trained medical professional whose education requires concussion management as a part of their curriculum, then there’s really no need to legislate concussions. I wish the NFL would throw their clout behind getting athletic trainers to be accessible to every student-athlete.

    • Dustin Fink February 26, 2011 / 12:49

      So very true BJ. The school I work at recently told me that our policy put in place (starting 3 years ago) was much more comprehensive than the bill in IL. They also made the point which you are making, saying if an athletic trainer was at every school there would be no need for bill/laws.
      I do believe, however, that bill/laws can serve as a “plan” for those schools that do not have access to medical professional, and can bridge the gap to where we all want to go, athletic trainers in every school.

      • Andrew February 28, 2011 / 00:23

        Educate or legislate.

        I can remember a time when the local experts were traveling around Washington state to educate about brain injuries(sports concussion specifically). During that exact time many young athletes suffered life changing catastrophic brain injuries. These could all have been prevented, but is it their fault because they didn’t educate their communities well enough or is it because they didn’t have an athletic trainer on site? They can’t afford an athletic trainer, and they obviously didn’t understand the significance of the message. Today, after working very hard on this law I feel no different in my practice, I haven’t changed a thing. One of the main changes in this state is now administrators are on the hook for making sure their coaching staff have been educated about this law.

        As I tell coaches “now you don’t have to worry about medical decisions, I don’t tell you when to run a fade route against that short/slow DB or that running full court man trapping press is going to catch the other team off guard. You are here because you are good at what you do…so am I, you do your job and I do mine, we can work together and I will hear your opinion in just as you will respect mine.”

        This law hasn’t increased the amount of athletic trainers employed in this state, it didn’t change local commerce. The only beneficiary of this bill is the kids, for good and bad. If they show symptoms they have to come out, its not my fault you are to cheap to employ someone that can properly evaluate the kids injuries. In a perfect world this type of law wouldn’t exist, yes…accidents happen, but the steps taken immediately after following that accident are critical. If someone can be held responsible for not being able to say “I had no idea or they only had a headache…and couldn’t see” because they now know better then it is a good thing. If by making it an inconvenience to hold kids out because they can’t put them back in…then maybe they will be more likely to higher someone that can.

      • Dustin Fink February 28, 2011 / 07:07

        Boom!!! Great comment!!!

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