Slide up. Chad said “Something’s wrong,” before lining

Slide 1So I will be talking about the risks of playing football. Slide2But before I get into the risks I would like to talk about this guy right here. Chad Stover. It was the opening round of the Missouri high school playoffs and the Tipton Cardinals were down 27-18 late in the fourth. As the running back took the handoff and sprinted to the right, Chad dived at the players legs with his arms outstretched. His head collided with the runners thigh as the ball carrier dodged the tackle and gained some more yards. Chad went down, and his helmet smacked into the ground. He wobbled to his feet and headed over to the sideline. An assistant coach asked him two times if he felt well enough to return to the game and both times Chad said he was fine. He returned to the game and they huddled up. Chad said “Something’s wrong,” before lining up for the play. Suddenly he collapsed and was caught by his best friend since grade school, David Richardson. Chad was limp when his mother reached him, he was laying on the ground with his eyes closed, a tear going down each side of his face. Players and coaches from both teams circled together with their hands linked and heads down in silent prayer. Chad was airlifted to the trauma centre at University Hospital in Columbia. Chad was put on life support with significant hemorrhaging and oxygen deprivation in his brain. For the next two weeks family, friends, and even rival players came to visit him and sometimes the waiting room was packed with up to 80 people. Unfortunately 6 days after his birthday, with his family gathered around him, Chad passed away. The official cause of death was blunt-force injury to the cranium.Slide 3After Chad’s death his parents lobbied Missouri to mandate ambulances at all football games. No state requires an ambulance at regular-season high school football games and they also don’t require an athletic trainer at every game. According to the National Athletic Trainers Association only 39% of public high schools have access to a full time certified athletic trainer, and 30% of schools have no training services at all. Improving this could be a valuable first step in protecting the players.Slide 4Around 1.5 million people participate in United States football. An estimated 1.2 million football-related injuries are sustained annually. 51% of injuries occurred at training. Sprains and strains account for 40% of injuries, contusions 25%, fractures 10%, concussions 5%, and dislocations 20%. This is a ridiculous amount of injuries which can severely impact a players life.Slide 5Studies have shown that the repeated hits NFL players take is linked to CTE, which is a degenerative brain disease. CTE is associated with memory loss, impulse control problems, depression and eventually dementia.Slide 6