Concussions and ACL injuries are becoming more common in all ages of football, but more can be done to prevent them. Concussions are much more dangerous than they seem. Concussions are defined as an injury to the brain or spinal cord due to jarring from a blow or fall (dictionary.com). Football is one of the main causes of concussions. ACL injuries can be even more detrimental from a player’s career standpoint. ACL injuries often sideline people for the rest of their career. I believe that if the NFL and other football officials enforce their rules better and increase the consequences, it would help lower the amount of injuries.
I have had many experiences with concussions, that is why I am making a point of preventing them. I have never had one before but my brother and best friend have both suffered through concussions related to football. My brother’s concussion was only a mild one but he could still hardly stand going outside for a couple of days. My friend has had two different concussions during football and both times he was taken by ambulance to the hospital. His were both severe concussions and he will never be able to play football again. Since his first concussion was caused by a player hitting him directly in the head, there should have been consequences for that player. Since a concussion is capable of ending a career, the player who causes them by doing something wrong should either be kicked out of the game or kicked out of football. There is supposed to be a fifteen yard penalty for a blow to the head but that is not enough. Fifteen yards for a player’s safety should not be comparable. Concussions can cause head trauma for the rest of a kid’s life, but that is not it. A 2007 study done by the University of North Carolina's Center for the Study of Retired Athletes showed that of the 595 retired N.F.L. players who claimed to have sustained three or more concussions on the football field during their career, 20.2 percent said they have suffered from depression since then (Davis).
If rules are going to be enforced better the consequences have to be greater. The consequences should not be the same for each level of football however. NFL players are adults and they receive money to play football so their consequences should be greater. A large fine along with a long suspension is what I think would get the point across. The consequences have to show the player that it is a serious matter and, can’t happen again. At the college level the players should not be fined because they do not play for money. They should be suspended for a good period of time though so that they still learn that they can’t let it happen again. The most crucial time for football officials to teach players about the importance of following rules to keep players safe is in middle school and high school. Keeping the kids out a few games will get the job done. If a high school student has to sit on the side lines and watch their team play without them, they will get the point that it’s a serious matter. Overall, something has to be done to show players of all ages that concussions can be prevented by hitting legally. This includes avoiding helmet to helmet contact, a blow to another player’s helmet, and leading into a tackle with your helmet. I have heard people say that making rules about hitting is taking away from the physicality of the game of football. The rules are not saying that you can’t play tough and physical, they are just preventing hits to the head that put the players’ safety at stake.
ACL injuries, on the other hand, can happen to anyone. They are most commonly caused by athletic injuries, which is why the amount of ACL injuries has been increasing throughout the past decade (usgyms.net). There are many people outside of sports that suffer from ACL injuries, but the most common are through football. Halfway through the 2011 NFL season, there were already 10 players who