If you have paid much attention to the story of head trauma, CTE, and football, then you are already familiar with Dr. Bennet Omalu. He was the first to diagnose CTE in football players when he identified it in Mike Webster in 2002, and ever since Omalu and his research have put a lot of pressure on the NFL to do something a problem that seemingly gets more severe the more you look into it.
Will Smith played him in Concussion.
Well, Omalu is looking into soccer now, and he’s saying all the same things.
The soccer industry should stop denying the truth. They should say: soccer is not a high impact, high contact sport, but you could suffer brain injury in sports. You need to be aware of that. You need to play safe, like removing heading from play.
“We need to place the life of the player above the revenue streams. This boils down to money. It’s all about money. We should not place money above the value of life — even the life of one single player.
Omalu made those comments in reaction to Roy Keane, Republic of Ireland’s assistant manager, who took a dismissive disposition after the retirement of Kevin Doyle, who had persistent concussion and headache problems.
“If you’re worried about the physical side of any sport, then play chess.”
Omalu didn’t care much for Keane’s tone.
“Keane’s claim is a very irresponsible statement to make,” Omalu told Goal. “If you notice the industries and corporations that are doing very well in today’s global economy are the information technology corporations. What is the denominator across these successful corporations? They are businesses that speak the truth, that elevate the truth, that provide human beings a platform to think and identify the truth.
“So when I see industries that intentionally deny or reject the truth, it’s a very dangerous strategy. It’s a dangerous strategy that could undermine the long-term sustainability of that industry.
Omalu’s business analysis may leave some things to be desired, but there is no denying his credibility on the issue of head trauma in sports.
So what do you think, soccer fans? Ready to give up headers?