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.

Hip Hop shows creativity, business acumen born from struggle (Part II)

Jay-Z, 50 Cent, and Puffy are 3 of the most successful Hip Hop artists and have used savvy business sense to amass considerable wealth.

Jay-Z, 50 Cent, and Sean “Puffy” Combs are 3 of the most successful Hip Hop artists and have used savvy business sense to amass considerable wealth.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Hip Hop is a global phenomenon that has become profitable in a myriad of ways to give an example of how monumental the culture really is. While Hip Hop music continues to be dissected and scrutinized for its content and imagery, remnants of Hip Hop can be recognized in more places than ever. Moguls like Puffy, 50 Cent, and Jay-Z deserve praise for the business mode and financial growth they show. As Hip Hop celebrates 40 years of existence, it is clear that the momentum generated by the genre’s pioneers is sustained by those who continue to embrace and expand on their vision.

Russell Simmons was ahead of his time and helped fuel the spread of Hip Hop culture on the big and small screen.

Russell Simmons was ahead of his time and helped fuel the spread of Hip Hop culture on the big and small screen.

In terms of Hip Hop pioneers, Russell Simmons stands out because his vision to spread Hip Hop to multiple audiences established a model that is still in use today. Simmons had the foresight to create the movie Krush Groove which showed what he went through in establishing his record label, Def Jam while developing opportunities for his brother, Rev Run of Run DMC. Simmons also helped with the explosion of black comedy on television with his Def Comedy Jam series.

Simmons’ exploits became a blueprint for others within Hip Hop to recognize that the music was just the beginning of the connection Hip Hop would make to audiences around the world. Simmons started his own clothing line, Phat Farm, as he continued to grow his empire. Simmons, who is also an author, said n a recent interview, “When you have a voice, you use it, if you can…So, as a person who runs a company, I’ve been to the Congress to promote a law, you know?”

Hip Hop artists learned early that they could use their talents in more than music. (Clockwise from top left) Rza, Method Man, LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, and Ice Cube.

Hip Hop artists learned early that they could use their talents in more than music. (Clockwise from top left) Rza, Method Man, LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, and Ice Cube.

As Hip Hop culture spread to the big and small screen, so did its artists. LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, Ice Cube, MC Lyte, Busta Rhymes, Lauryn Hill, Eminem, Rza, Method Man and Redman were among some of the many Hip Hop artists that had acting roles throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s. With varying levels of excellence, they showed that the ability to connect to an audience extended beyond having a microphone in their hands. In fact, Ice-T and Will Smith became so accomplished as actors that some forget about their contributions to Hip Hop music.

Will Smith  (top) and Ice-T (bottom) have been so successful as actors that some forget about their music careers.

Will Smith (top) and Ice-T (bottom) have been so successful as actors that some forget about their music careers.

The growth of Hip Hop culture has been beneficial to many within the music industry throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s. As the music began to be accepted in more places, the producers of the music began to rise to prominence. There were a number of producers who started music labels and grew their own brand. The appreciation for the music created opportunities for many associated with Hip Hop to develop a better business sense to protect their work, names, and brand.

Missy (top), Pharrell Williams (left) and Kanye West (right) initially earned success as producers, then became successful artists.

Missy Elliott (top), Pharrell Williams (left) and Kanye West (right) initially earned success as producers, then became successful artists.

Puffy formed Bad Boy Records, Jermaine Dupri formed So-So Def, Master P formed No Limit Records, and Birdman formed Cash Money Records. These were just a few of the lucrative labels that were responsible for some of the biggest Hip Hop hits in the 90’s and 2000’s. The success these entrepreneurs had allowed for them to have more control of their rights within the music industry and have control over who would work with them. The aforementioned label owners signed and promote local artists who might not have been accepted at other record labels.

(Clockwise from lop left) Master P, Birdman, and Jermaine Dupri were producers who started their own labels.

(Clockwise from top left) Master P, Birdman, and Jermaine Dupri are producers who started their own labels.

In addition to starting labels, it also became common for producers to become recording artists. Pharrell Williams, Missy Elliott, and Kanye West are three of the most successful producers to make the transition to artist. They acknowledge the challenge that comes with their success. Their success laid the ground work for current artists to recognize the broad range a person can have within the music industry. Current artists have adapted and used current technology to produce music and videos as they have learned the value of having as much control over their careers as possible.

“When I create something, it’s gotta be special and it can’t just be to throw something out there because I feel like I’m Missy…I gotta feel like what I’m giving the fans is 100 percent and that it’s game-changing,”  Elliott said in an interview.

TLC (top), Mariah Carey (left), and Mary J. Blige (right) will forever be associated with Hip Hop though they weren't rappers.

TLC (top), Mariah Carey (left), and Mary J. Blige (right) will forever be associated with Hip Hop though they weren’t rappers.

With Hip Hop becoming such a profitable brand, other genres of music were willing to blend with it. R&B became the most frequent collaborator with Hip Hop as producers like Teddy Riley and Dr. Dre helped lead a R&B/Hip Hop blend of music that ascended to the top of the charts throughout the 90’s and 00’s. Some of the top-selling R&B artists of the 90’s like Brandy, Monica, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, R. Kelly, Usher and TLC, openly embraced Hip Hop and became forever associated with the genre.

Today's Hip Hop stars are visible in many different platforms. (l - r) Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Lil Wayne are part of the Young Money group are among the top  selling artists of the past few years.

Today’s Hip Hop stars are visible in many different platforms. (l – r) Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Lil Wayne are part of the Young Money group and they are among the top selling artists of the past few years.

Today, Hip Hop stars have learned from their predecessors and are recognized for multiple achievements. Hip Hop moguls created clothing lines such as Sean “Puffy” Combs’ Sean John’, Jay-Z’s Roc-a-wear, Wu-Tang Clan’s Wu-Wear, and 50 Cent’s G-Unit Clothing. Drake was known as an actor before becoming a top-selling artist. Nicki Minaj became a judge on the popular music talent show, American Idol, while continuing her music career. Other artists have used YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms to grow their audiences and maintain viability in a complicated music industry.

“All we’re really doing is continuing to sell the idea that you [fans] can liberate yourself. You don’t have to follow someone else’s blueprint to be successful,” Williams said.

Dr. Dre has continued to evolve, starting as a producer and artist and is now recognized as a businessman.

Dr. Dre has continued to evolve, starting as a producer and artist and is now recognized as a very successful businessman who has partnered with other entrepreneurs to broaden his brand.

Dr. Dre’s recent $3.2 billion deal with Apple to sell his Beats By Dre brand of headphones and speakers is a sign of the continued influence of Hip Hop. The music will always be scrutinized as it continues to be the prevailing vehicle for musicians to express their thoughts about observations that are not always fun to deal with. Positive and negative images and messages within the music are no different in this genre than what is seen on television or in the movies. However, Hip Hop culture has grown in immeasurable ways, making multi-millionaires out of numerous young men and women who were just trying to find a way to express themselves.

Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Puffy, and Simmons are among the biggest names in American History because of their influence on business and entertainment, not just Hip Hop. They have set an example for others to learn from in terms of building on artistic talent to expand into business ventures. As President Barack Obama eloquently stated, “Hip Hop is not just a mirror of what is, it should also be a reflection of what can be.”  –OnPointPress.net–

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