23 Aug 2014
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Speak Out: Football and Brain Injuries

As the world wonders about the possible link between football and long-term brain health, does that impact how you feel about kids playing the game?

Speak Out: Football and Brain Injuries Speak Out: Football and Brain Injuries Speak Out: Football and Brain Injuries

There already has been plenty of discussion linking Junior Seau's suicide and the cumulative effects of violent collisions he sustained during his illustrious NFL career.

The former San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots linebacker died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the chest earlier this week.

In our quest to know why a 43-year-old former football star would take his own life, we quickly latch on to what we've seen previously — a growing list of former players who've suffered depression, dementia and other neurological problems.

So what do you think? Does the possibility of concussions in youth and high school football concern you? Add your comments at the end of this article.

Last year, former Pro Bowl safety Dave Duerson died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the chest, leaving word that he wanted his brain used for research, which later determined he suffered from a neurological disease linked to concussions.

Last month, former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling, who had led a concussion injury-related lawsuit against the NFL, committed suicide in his Richmond, Va., home at the age of 62.

Safety in America's favorite sport has never been a hotter issue than it is now, especially as thousands of high-school athletes around metro Atlanta hit the field for spring workouts in the next two weeks.

Coaches are trained well to monitor their players for concussions and other injuries, for sure. On its website, the Georgia High School Association has established protocols, offers a concussion course from the CDC, and links to a National Federation of High Schools information video – with links to the NFHS's own concussion in sports course.

But is that enough? Former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner said this week that he would prefer his sons not play football.

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