Friday, March 22, 2013
On rare occasions, a threat will emerge that jeopardizes the existence of a business. The threat might not be the kind that anyone considered and yet, it is suddenly there. Here is a case -- concussions in football. It is not the kind of issue that league presidents would have worried about, but medical evidence now points to long-term damage that ringing blows can do to the brain. Retired players are suing to compensate for the onset of memory loss and other brain defects. Parents are holding their children out of football for fear of what might happen to them. Players, coaches and managers can no longer ignore the effects of head injuries. From a PR perspective, it is a crisis and the future of the sport will depend on how industry participants handle it. Downplaying head injuries or attempting to ignore them won't make the issue go away, and it may require more than a few rules changes to guarantee the long-term health of players. There needs to be close study of every aspect of the game and its impact on the brain. The football played next year should not be the same as that of the year just finished.