The Unfortunate Repercussions of Sports Injuries
By Kelly Croslis – Sports – Turn on the news at any time during the day and you will hear a full run down of the previous day’s sporting events and what is scheduled, for many it is their life line and feeds their addiction.
There are those unfortunate moments, however, when the news is not good and our hearts go out to the families of the players are have faced injury, sometimes permanent and they feel the only way to resolve the pain is suicide.
The recent suicide of Denver Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley has brought to the forefront the effects of concussions on athletes, no matter the sport.While McKinley’s injury was to his knee, it kept him off the field and his suicide has taken more of a turn to the mental effects of injury in sports, not only at the professional level, but at all levels.After all if a professional player, who lives in the spotlight, can hide his depression and fact he has given up, what are we all capable of?
It is for this reason that sports programs, across the board, are adopting plans to protect players after injury, keeping in the spotlight with trainers, coaches and teammates.At the high school level, parents are now required to sign papers educating them on the effects of concussions, giving the athletic trainers the permission to treat them on the field and the requirement to follow-up with them, at the school on a regular basis.This does not, however, take the responsibility away from the player, but makes everyone more aware of the injury and how best to help the athletes heal and return to the field of play when they are ready.In the case of knee injuries, it is important to keep the player active with the team, be it taking care of statistics, cheering their teammates on, or helping the coach.In some cases, if the injury is a broken arm/hand, it is possible for the player to return to the field of play within days with the proper protection to the injury, and approval from the referees.
The suicide of McKinley and other players like him, also puts the focus on how much of ourselves we put into sports, when it is made the focus of someone’s life is it really the best thing?The reason, possibly, that these unfortunate events happen is because they feel there is no other choice, with a season ending or even career ending injury, what they do with their life.It is all they have worked for and the idea of another profession is not an option.
Starting when kids are young and begin an interest in sports, helping them to realize that injuries will happen, they may be serious at time and restrict play, it is important to know that there are other options. It is shown that injuries can affect the player emotionally to an extreme extent.
It is unfortunate that we often learn these lessons only after someone, such McKinley, takes his own life. If one kid listens and takes into consideration the repercussions, a lesson is learned and McKinley may be seen as a martyr.
Turning on the news brings us good news and bad news; it is what we do with this information that can make all the difference.
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