Death of high school footballer re-ignites safety concerns

16 year-old Tyrell Cameron lost his life on the football field last week in a high school game while covering a punt in the 4th quarter.

16 year-old Tyrell Cameron lost his life on the football field last week in a high school game while covering a punt in the 4th quarter.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

An unfortunate injury caused during a high school football game resulted in the death of 16 year-old player Tyrell Cameron on Friday September 4, 2015. Cameron died later that night after breaking his neck during a routine punt coverage in the fourth quarter of a Louisiana high school football game.

Johnny Ogden, an investigator with the parish coroner’s office told USA Today Sports that “Life-saving measures were performed and CPR was performed, but he was pronounced dead (at the hospital).”

De'Antre Turman, 16, also lost his life on the high school football field in 2013.

De’Antre Turman, 16, also lost his life on the high school football field in 2013.

As Cameron’s family, coaches and teammates mourn the loss of a young life, Coach Barry Sebren expressed his team’s grief, saying: “It was a routine play. It was such a tragedy, so unfortunate. We’re gonna miss him. He’s a great player and even better person. That’s what we’re going to miss most about Tyrell.”

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The tragic accident mirrors an eerily similar incident in 2013 where De’Antre Turman of Creekside High School in Union City, Georgia, died while playing in a scrimmage game after he tackled another player. Dr. Daniel Sciubba, an assistant professor of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, called Turman’s death, “a very freak accident.” Sciubba added, “It’s just the fact that people are hitting each other as hard as they can and [the neck] area is not immobilized.”

Concussion. a Sony Pictures film starring Will Smith, will be a story about a doctor who uncovers the potential harm from concussions and the difficulty the doctor had in sharing his findings.

Concussion. a Sony Pictures film starring Will Smith, will be a story about a doctor who uncovers the potential harm from concussions and the difficulty the doctor had in sharing his findings.

These incidents are extreme examples of the inherent danger of playing such a violent sport, but the larger question is how are players being protected? Youth football is one of the most popular activities provided to youngsters but questions persist about player safety. Sport neurologist Dr. Anthony Alessi commented recently on the subject stating, “We know that the brain is not fully developed at the youth level. The most successful players in the NFL did not play youth football.”

While officials at all levels of football have been asked to address concerns from fans and participants, expectations increase that the NFL take the lead on player safety. As the NFL continues to deal with lawsuits from former players who maintain that the NFL did not do enough to protect them during their careers, the league has issued the following statement recently:

“We are encouraged by the ongoing focus on the critical issue of player health and safety. We have no higher priority. We all know more about this issue then we did 10 or 20 years ago. As we continue to learn more, we apply those learnings to make our game and players safer.”

Adrian Coxson announced his retirement after suffering the affects of a concussion this NFL off-season.

Adrian Coxson announced his retirement after suffering the effects of a concussion this NFL off-season.

The regular season has begun for high school and colleges across the country and the NFL regular season will begin this Thursday. While there is plenty of excitement for the game, there are some who are having a difficult time balancing their desire for entertainment from this collision sport as more information surfaces about the potential for serious injury for those gifted players. Sony Pictures’ upcoming film, Concussion, featuring Will Smith, will depict the hazards of concussions uncovered by a doctor with access to NFL players and the uphill battle he faced in getting the issue addressed.

Hopefully these tragic stories of aspiring NFL players and other young football players like Tyrell Cameron can inspire changes towards a safer but equally entertaining game.

It is unclear if  tragic stories of aspiring NFL players and other young football players like Tyrell Cameron can inspire changes towards a safer but equally entertaining game.

Meanwhile, this past Labor Day, former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Adrian Coxson, announced his retirement from football. Coxson expressed grave concerns for his health from a concussion he sustained in practice three weeks earlier. Coxson made this statement to the National Football Post:

“I’m retiring because I’m still having symptoms, and my health is more important to me than the game of football,” Coxson told . “It’s been recommended to me by two neurologists and two doctors to retire from football. This last [hit to my head] could be life-damaging. It has taken a great toll on me. This concussion was a bad one. A Grade 3 concussion is real serious.”

The fans of football and family members of players like Cameron, Turman, and Coxson will continue to support a sport they clearly enjoy. As millions more continue to enjoy football going forward, it is likely that greater safety measures will be implemented to allow  players to avoid  more tragic outcomes.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer and a licensed insurance professional partnered with HealthMarkets. Follow me @GloverIsGood on Twitter.com. Check out www.HealthMarkets.com/cglover for your free health insurance and life insurance quotes.

Ray Rice released by the Baltimore Ravens, suspended indefinitely by NFL

Ray Rice

Ray Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens on September 8, 2014 after TMZ released a video which showed him punching his then-fiancé, now wife in the elevator, causing her to hit her head and lose consciousness.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Breaking News: NFL Network reported that the Baltimore Ravens released running back Ray Rice effective immediately after a graphic video surfaced of him physically abusing his then-girlfriend, and now wife Janay Palmer.

TMZ video of Ray Rice (l) and his wife Janay  Palmer (r).

TMZ video of Ray Rice (l) and his  then-girlfriend Janay Palmer (r). In the video, Rice is seen delivering a punch to Palmer’s face, causing her to hit her head on the elevator and fall down.

The Ravens made the announcement via a Tweet which read: “The Baltimore Ravens terminated the contract of RB Ray Rice this afternoon.”

Earlier on Monday, September 8, TMZ released the full video showing in detail the domestic violence that occurred between Rice and his Palmer.

The NFL Network also reported that the NFL has suspended Rice indefinitely from the league. No statements have been released yet by the Ravens, Rice, National Football Players Association (NFLPA) or NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. But the White House issued a stern rebuke via a statement read by press secretary Josh Earnest.

“Hitting a woman is not something a real man does. Stopping domestic violence is something that’s bigger than football and all of us have a responsibility to put a stop to it,” Earnest said.

Goodell came under fire for the two-game suspension that he handed down to RIce earlier this summer. As a result, Goodell changed the league’s conduct policy so that all NFL personnel will be fined with a six-game suspension for the first instance of domestic violence and face a lifetime ban after the second incident.

Stay tuned to OnPointPress.net for more updates.–OnPointPress.net–

NFL’s Roger Goodell makes drastic changes to the personal conduct policy

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell responded to critics of the punishment of Ray Rice by making sweeping changes to the NFL personal conduct policy.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell responded to critics of the punishment of Ray Rice by making sweeping changes to the NFL personal conduct policy.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

On Thursday August 28, Roger Goodell issued a letter to all the teams in the NFL notifying them of sweeping changes to the personal conduct policy. Sharing the mindset that led to the change, Goodell stated, “At times, however, and despite our best efforts, we fall short of our goals. We clearly did so in response to a recent incident of domestic violence. … My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right”

An excerpt from the letter, reproduced below states the particulars of the changes:

MEMORANDUM TO ALL NFL PERSONNEL

“Domestic violence and sexual assault are wrong. They are illegal. They are never acceptable and have no place in the NFL under any circumstances.

Our Personal Conduct Policy has long made clear that domestic violence and sexual assault are unacceptable. We clearly must do a better job of addressing these incidents in the NFL. And we will. Earlier today, I sent NFL owners a letter that identified specific actions we will take to improve our response to domestic violence and sexual assault.

Goodell's (r) changes  are a clear indication that the public outcry from the punishment levied against Ray Rice (l) have changed the way he wants to punish players in the future.

Goodell’s (r) changes are a clear indication that the public outcry from the punishment levied against Ray Rice (l) have changed the way he wants to punish players in the future.

Those actions include the following:

• All NFL Personnel will participate in new and enhanced educational programs on domestic violence and sexual assault. We will also increase our outreach to college and youth football programs.

• Families will receive detailed information about available services and resources, both through the club and independent of the club. These resources and services will be available to employees and their families on a confidential basis.

• Violations of the Personal Conduct Policy regarding assault, battery, domestic violence and sexual assault that involve physical force will be subject to enhanced discipline. A first offense will be subject to a suspension of six weeks without pay. Mitigating circumstances will be considered, and more severe discipline will be imposed if there are aggravating circumstances such as the presence or use of a weapon, choking, repeated striking, or when the act is committed against a pregnant woman or in the presence of a child. A second offense will result in banishment from the league; an offender may petition for reinstatement after one year but there is no assurance that the petition will be granted. These disciplinary consequences apply to all NFL personnel.”

Goodell did not hold a press conference to address some potential questions stemming from the drastic changes. The NFL Players Association declined to comment at this time, choosing to reserve judgement until a later date. Some questions that stand out about the policy changes are:

What will be the penalty for NFL personnel who do not play games under this policy change?

Would Ray Rice have received a different penalty under this policy change or will his punishment be amended retroactively to incorporate the new policy?

If the second offense is worthy of a lifetime ban, then why is the first offense 6 games? Why not longer?

These questions and others will likely be posed to commissioner Goodell in the near future.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.