We have written about the perils of soccer on here a few times, including some cases; probably not enough. Strike that last comment, it has not been enough. Soccer has a concussion issue, one that is lying just beneath the surface waiting to rear its ugly head. I will freely admit that I have done a disservice by not bringing more attention to this sport, but thankfully there is a writer who took a deeper look and provides excellent commentary on the issue.
His name, Leander Schaerlaekens and he writes for ESPN.com on the soccer side of things. His article was not only a case-by-case indictment of the concussion issue in soccer; it provided some insight to why the issue is there;
In spite of the attention they’ve gotten, ice hockey and football of the gridiron variety do not have a monopoly on concussions. Soccer, which has long had a reputation for being a relatively safe sport in the U.S., is nearly as likely to cause brain injury.
Very true statement.
There isn’t much knowledge about the effect of concussions in soccer yet, making for an uncertain future for its victims. “I just don’t know what’s going to happen in 10 years because of the hits I’ve taken,” said former MLS and U.S. defender Jimmy Conrad, who retired in August after symptoms lingered following his seventh concussion. “The scary part of the process is that some doctors just don’t really know. We’re just scratching the surface of this, and it’s going to take 15 years of trial and error to get on top of it.”
“They’ve got to be man enough to be mature and say, ‘I know I’ve had six concussions and I know I need to not play with fire and wait until I’m symptom-free,'” Twellman said. “You can have an ankle replacement, you can have a knee replacement but you cannot have a brain replacement. Concussions can ruin your life.”
This article is brilliant to say the least, I don’t want to take away from the work Schaerlaekens did so PLEASE READ IT!!! The moral of the story is AWARENESS; knowing the battle one would be fighting is the best way to actually fight the battle.
I will leave you with the final quote from the article, from Bryan Namoff;
“I haven’t felt normal for even a minute during this whole ordeal. There hasn’t been a single minute when I haven’t had pain in my head. I’m on a two-year headache.”