Leigh Starks knows a thing or two about football. Over the years he has acted as agent for multiple generations of stars, including Troy Aikman, Ricky Williams and Ben Roethlisberger. So when Leigh Starks writes something about football, we should pay attention to it.
A recent article by Starks attempts to draw attention to one of the great health tragedies of our time. Starks represented dozens of players whose lives were greatly affected by concussions and post-concussion symptoms as a result of their playing careers. But, it is not professional players that concerns him the most.
Concussions at the high school football level long ago reached crisis levels, but no one seemed to care. As more and more scientific studies indicated that young adults were suffering concussions at a catastrophic rate, schools and states did little to protect some of the most vulnerable people. Starks is trying to draw attention to these issues, but he cannot do it alone. Too many parents are trapped in the past, remembering their own glory days, not recognizing just how unhealthy football can be for their children. Oftentimes parents are not fully educated on the dangers, and we are not able rely on the schools and administrations that profit from their pain to provide those resources.
Education is the first step. There are a variety of reasons high school football players are particularly prone to injury, including:
- Lower quality equipment
- Ill-fitting equipment
- Poor technique
- Size discrepancies between larger and smaller players at different schools
- Immature bodies and brains
Something must be done at the systemic level to protect these young adults, both from the schools and from themselves. The culture of football has long discouraged people from speaking out, and it is up to the parents to bring about change. If you or someone you love has been injured playing a sport, particularly at the high school level, please contact an attorney to help hold the administration to account and prevent other young adults from suffering the same injuries.