At the age of 18, everyone in this country is considered an adult. If you commit a crime, you get tried to the fullest extent of the law. At this time, any person can make decisions for themselves, especially concerning health.
Last week, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sat out against the Baltimore Ravens. After the Steelers announced they would not start, wide receiver Hines Ward basically said he thinks Roethlisberger should suck it up and play.
This created controversy in the never-ending saga of health for the players in the most violent of the big four sports. For years the people in media and atop the NFL have pondered about how to best protect the players.
The NFL is enforcing a new rule about concussions and return time for players.
This rule is starting to infringe on players’ rights to make decisions for themselves. Players have the right to sit out if they don’t feel they are necessarily ready to play or to deem themselves ready to take the field.
By creating a rule to restrict athletes from deciding when they can return to the playing field, the NFL taking more power from players is putting it in their own hands.
Injuries happen all the time in football and some players get injured to the point they can’t ever return to the game. Because concussions are common and serious in football, the NFL should implement a rule regarding recovery time for concussions.
Let’s get on the same page; a concussion is a head trauma where the brain moves violently in the skull to the point that all the cells go crazy. This injury can affect many essential functions such as memory, reaction time and processing speed.
All of these functions are important to athletes, especially football players, and can easily be injured further when an athlete experiences a second head trauma in a short period of time.
According to the University of Pittsburgh’s, many of the symptoms of a concussion disappear within a couple hours but healing takes a lot longer and returning to risky activities too soon can cause serious brain injuries.
The NFL can’t risk injuring their players to a devastating extent due to poor judgment by training staffs or athlete themselves. Because of this, the NFL needs to implement a mandatory recovery time for players who have suffered concussions.
A mandatory wait time would promote the health of the athletes and put the NFL in a good moral light.