The Orlando Sentinel ran an article this week about Zack Darlington, a top high school quarterback prospect who plays for Apopka High School, and the unfortunate concussion he suffered last weekend in a game against Byrnes (S.C.) High School. Zack, a high school senior, has committed to play his college football at the University of Nebraska.
Last Saturday, Zack suffered his second concussion in the past two months. Zack’s father, Rick Darlington is the head football coach of the team. Coach Darlington said, “Zack [saw his doctor’s Monday], underwent several test and performed surprisingly well. He has suffered no permanent damage, and his physicians expect a full recovery.”
Zack’s concussion is just the latest across the world of sports to shed light on the growing problems and concerns with player safety and long-term consequences. In an unfortunate move for the general public, ESPN, which was set to televise a two-part documentary on the problem of concussions in the NFL, has rescinded its relationship with Frontline to release the documentary. Not so surprising, the N.F.L. was critical of this documentary, and we have to question why.
The N.F.L. is the top of the food-chain when it comes to professional sports and they should be supportive of a critical, open discussion on concussions and the risks associated with them. For example, PBS hosts the website Concussion Watch, for everyone to see the high rate of concussions across the N.F.L. The best way to find a solution to making football, and all sports, safer is by having an open, active discussion on the issue.
Aside from making safer helmets, safer rules, litigation might be the best course of action to actually force the companies involved in sports safety to actually create better products. In Maryland, a wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against Frostburg (Md.) State University, after Derek Sheely was never checked for concussions or to see if his helmet fit properly during practices or games. The NCCA has been joined as a defendant in this case.
This is an issue with lasting effects on the way we protect our student-athletes and professional-athletes. If you or someone you know has concussion related symptoms or problems caused by organized sports, please contact us to help you evaluate your potential case.