The increased awareness and criticism around how brain injuries are handled within sports is far from an American issue. Several countries around the world are reevaluating their favorite sports in hopes of protecting athletes brains, including rugby, hockey, and soccer.
With the World Cup less than a week away, the pressure on soccer is beginning to mount. Concussions have never been uncommon in soccer, but the recent information about the long-term damage associated with repeated brain injuries and “sub-concussive” hits have raised concern about how head injuries are viewed in one of the world’s most popular sports.
The World Cup doesn’t seem likely to institute any new hard-line regulations about head injuries before the competition, but Chris Bryant, a former Minister from the UK, has spoken out encouraging commentators to stop “applauding” players who return to the field after sustaining brain injuries and even called for a major inquiry into the sport.
The report on Chris Bryant’s comments from the Telegraph offer a unique insight into the current state of brain injury regulations in sports outside of America and how the culture surrounding certain sports can make it much harder to stop the repeated brain injuries that have been associated with long-term brain damage.
If you thought American football was the only sport battling a culture of “manning up” and playing through brain injuries, you’ll see that sports around the world struggle with players hiding injuries or being celebrated for putting their long-term well-being in jeopardy for glory.