As part of their partnership to promote culture change regarding brain injuries, the U.S. Army and the NFL will conduct next week a panel discussion aimed at promoting “positive culture change” and reducing the stigma associated with concussions and other mild traumatic brain injuries.
The August 30 session to be conducted at West Point will focus on the “Soldier-Athlete commitment to education and awareness” regarding these issues.
Participants include Commissioner Roger Goodell and former players Troy Vincent and Bart Oates, along with the Army Chief of Staff, General Raymond T. Odierno.
The NFL and the Army are working together to help solders and athletes understand the importance of taking mild head injuries seriously, both as to the person who suffers the injury and those who may regard the person who taps out because of the injury as not tough or resilient.
That’s the challenge, at every level of the sport. Players and soldiers are wired a certain way. It may take decades to change attitudes — and the change needs to start at the lower levels of football, where most future pro football players and soldiers get their first exposure to striking the important balance between pain and injury.