Is sending your child to play football child abuse? (1 Viewer)

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Lila

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Bennet Omalu was born as his Biafran refugee camp was being bombed and his father left for dead. His father survived that day and named his son Benoit, meaning "blessed by God". His African name, Onyemalukwube, manes "If you know, come forth and speak" He is a man who has lived through systematic persecution and abuse during childhood and admits that, because his father saw education as the way out of being pegged inferior, his multiple degrees and publications "may be a bit of compensation".
Wikepedia Commons, Photo, Josh Adkins

He has a unique laugh. He needs to laugh because, as a young pathologist, he didn't believe that a person could become psychiatrically ill without reason. This opinion ultimately led him down the path toward recognition that concussions and traumatic brain injury are the brain's predictable response to repeated hits and made him very unpopular with the NFL and others who do not agree with and/or minimize his findings. He has lived up to his name of Onyemalukwube and continues to speak out on this topic.

He has, for example, expressed the opinion that no amount of padding or protection can protect a brain from this type of trauma and its predictable consequences, which runs counter to NFL wisdom. He also does not see the current concussion guidelines, which focus on protecting an injured brain from being injured 'too soon' as adequate if they ignore that any timing will not protect a brain that has been repeatedly injured. He has also been quoted as saying “Someday there will be a district attorney who will prosecute for child abuse [on the football field], and it will succeed. It is the definition of child abuse.” and “If you play football, and if your child plays football, there is a 100 percent risk exposure. There is nothing like making football safer. That’s a misnomer.”
No beating around the bush. The man has clarity:D

He has done the science and he has collaborated with others in the field. One study published in the well known medical journal JAMA found that, of the 111 brains of former NFL players donated for research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (as this syndrome of brain injury from repeated trauma is called) 110 of the players showed damage consistent with the disease.

This article outlines his early career and later findings that have placed him in the spotlight as an advocate of protecting brains, young and old, but especially young, from repeated trauma, such as from sports. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/28/concussion-prevention-football-safety-brain-injury-bennet-omalu-nfl-will-smith It also discusses the first autopsy that led him down this road, that of Iron Mike Webster of the Pittsburg Steelers.
This one contains the quotes above: https://www.si.com/nfl/2017/08/08/bennet-omalu-cte-football
Here is the site of a father who has spent a lot of time thinking about this and agrees with Dr. Omaly: https://modernfatheronline.com/2013/11/30/sports-and-the-hypocrisy-of-parenting/

He is getting lots of publicity, with the movie, "Concussion" starring Will Smith, dramatizing his life. He is also getting lots of negative press, and no surprise, as the NFL is the most lucrative sport in the US and they do not like his message. He is certainly speaking out about what he knows, and so living up to his name.

Can we prove that sports like football predictably cause brain injury that leads to disabling bodily and psychiatric illness? Dr. Omalu says we can.
Would you say 'no' to your kids playing sports that involve repeated head trauma, despite societal norms and concussion guidelines saying it's ok? I'm not.
Is the NFL being sued? Yes, by more than 4000 players!

What do you think? Please be respectful in your comments!o:)
 
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Sinera

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What about children who let their children go boxing? Woudn't this be even worse then? Just a question that popped into my mind spontaneously.
 
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Lila

Lila

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Yes, Sinera I believe that boxing has been recognized for a longer time as being linked to dementia. Do you remember Muhammad Ali? Sting like a bee? His incredibly fast reflexes and his slow, sad decline?
I'm not familiar with much in the way of children boxing, but that may be just my environment? Or a recognition of its dangers?
 
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Hailstones Melt

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I have seen the movie, Concussion, and Will Smith is brilliant, and Onyemalukwube must be one very special human being.

Try an experiment - open a whole coconut and pop an unbroken raw egg in. Then tape/fix the coconut lid back on, and give it a swift kick (wearing protective boots to spare your toes!) Re-open the coconut and see what has happened to the egg.

Tai Chi is appealing because it makes you feel strong, centred, and you can do it in groups.
 
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Lila

Lila

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Now I will be looking for a coconut!
I'm curious<3
 
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Linda

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I don't disagree with what you all have said BUT merciful heavens - there is such a strong football culture - especially in the south (US).
In high school, everything revolves around Friday nights in the fall - not just the players, but the band, twirlers, drill teams, cheerleaders, pep squads, and hanging out after the game. It is a very large industry. I was in drill team in jr and sr high school. Not only did we perform at football games, but were invited to march in big parades, such as Thanksgiving and New Years.

Then there is college football - and now you are talking about scholarships for athletics and band. We used to have season tickets, but they got too expensive.

Pro ball sucks now, and most people I know don't care for it anymore because it has become such a nasty business. Quite honestly, most of us are tired of not only seeing very well paid people act like jackasses on and off the field, but the ridiculous prices of tickets and food. I can see the demise of this part of the sport in the near future because the teams depend on all sorts of deals from cities that host a team, and those discretionary funds are drying up. There may be a trickle down effect for college teams because some of the players are looking for pro contracts. This is where the term "one and done" comes from. Athletes play for one year on a college team and then go pro.

One thing that has happened is the new popularity of soccer and lacrosse in school. Now days it is just as cool to be on all kinds of teams, as well as football.

Realizing, that this will be foreign to most of you - here is a video of the the University of Texas band in their pre-game show. I'm telling you - it is a big deal for many people.

 
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Lila

Lila

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Thanks, Linda for presenting this side of the game and its associated culture. I was hoping someone would:D

What you write about is not part of my own history so I can't do it justice, but it's hard to miss how big this game is and that it can have some wonderful enthusiasm, skill, community and all kinds of great stuff associated with it, like in the video. It's not just about the game. Far from it.

Yet, Dr. Omalu is far from alone in presenting his view of the dangers of repetitive head injury and how unavoidable it is in the current context of some games we play.

The whole issue reminds me a lot of a posting of Laron's from Carl Boudreau's view of what we can expect in the next years, essentially a grinding down of all that we have built into the tiniest bits so that we reinvent ourselves from scratch, in order to not re-incorporate our old 'bad habits' into our new structures and ways of thinking: https://www.transients.info/roundtable/threads/september-astrological-thoughts-and-the-rest-of-2017-—-carl-boudreau.3608/
Here is where he presents the grinding process idea (in relation to the August eclipse etc): https://www.facebook.com/notes/carl-boudreau/august-20-2017-grinding-wheel/10214281110210110/

Food for thought?
Is this what boudreau meant when he said we'd have to reinvent our ways of thinking, doing and being?
Even the prices of food at games, lol!:rolleyes::((
Seriously... if so, then I'm voting for doing so in as supportive and fun a way as possible, as we so often do here on RT:-D<3

Boudreeau does mention needing to find new ways of discussing what we do, how we think...;)

Edit: I see that Laron's included these ideas into this weekend's remote group healing: https://www.transients.info/roundtable/threads/remote-group-healing-subtle-bodies-weekend-of-the-23rd-of-september-2017.3611/
 
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Stargazer

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I can certainly appreciate the diverse disciplines of sports, even football, but I'd love to see the violent aspects of it taken down a notch or two. Heck, I know the die hard football fans out there will certainly object, but what's wrong with "flag" football? I played it growing up and it seems to me that would be a good way to preserve all the traditions and take a huge part of the risks (and violence) out of it...
 
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Lila

Lila

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I'd love to see the violent aspects of it taken down a notch or two
Me too, Stargazer.
I would especially like to see the hard hype taken out and replaced by more emphasis on fun:p
I've never seen any conflict with being fully 'committed' (an oft-hyped phrase often come to mean 'having no life outside of xxx sport or whatever activity') and having a balanced life, but clearly, many people seem to see this as an either/or situation, and somehow they've been able to convince lots of other that you are either 'fully committed' or 'out':confused::fp:rolleyes:
 
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Pucksterguy

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I gotta put in my 2 cents worth here. (Refunds freely availiable) Let me preface by saying I'm an athlete. I've been playing ice hockey and baseball since I was just a wee lad. I just signed up for my usual 2 nights of ice hockey per week. At 60 yo. What Linda describes as the football culture exists here in Canada on hockey. Similar stuff different sports. We do lack the marching bands and entertainment outside of the game but the comments about the expense etc. are the same. I have no time for football or pro boxing and by extension MME fights. Just too violent and barbaric for me.
I too have smacked my noggin good and hard on the ice... fortunately no ill efects yet (tho some may beg to differ lol). On hockey concussions were considered part of the game till about 10 yrs ago when 2 major stars were forced to quit the game prematurely due to concussions. As in all things related to money plenty of lip service was given to the issues till the retirements. Many rule changes were made as well as better helmets produced. Lip service still prevails but the players took matters into their own hands and enforced safety measures to reduce the injuries and mostly succeded in reducing head injuries. Long story short, concussions can be reduced with an honest effort.
and yes sending kids to play football can be considered child abuse. The game needn't be banned just modified to save much pain and suffering amongst the athletes playing the game.
Now about steroids....
 
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Lila

Lila

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players took matters into their own hands and enforced safety measures to reduce the injuries and mostly succeded in reducing head injuries. Long story short, concussions can be reduced with an honest effort.
and yes sending kids to play football can be considered child abuse. The game needn't be banned just modified to save much pain and suffering amongst the athletes playing the game.
Now about steroids....
Love your 'blades on the ice' perspective, PG! Especially the part about recognizing that when lip service was not doing the job, taking things into our own hands can really take things in the direction of needed change. As you and SG say, can't we just modify our play towards, well... play (rather than something more self-abusive), emphasizing the learning, joy and confidence that are the best part of sports but that has so often gotten lost in the shuffle toward something darker and more sterile.
As you point out, yes, we can, and we do. One step, one person, one group, one attitude at a time, until the whole landscape looks more like the place we want to be in. Even at age 60<3:cool:
Now about steroids...:)|
 
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