Reporting Mary Bubala
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As the Ravens’ season gets underway, the team is making a big push to make the game safer.
Mary Bubala reports it unveiled a new campaign for concussion awareness Tuesday.
The Ravens and Medstar Sports Medicine unveiled the public service announcement with linebacker Jameel McClain. It talks directly to coaches, parents and athletes about the importance of recognizing a concussion, taking time to recover and not returning to the game too soon.
“When in doubt, sit it out,” the ad said.
“I was always told as a kid, `You know if it’s not broken, you can go’ but when it comes to the head, you never know so if you are dinged up or if you are dizzy, you have to sit yourself out. You have to be aware,” McClain said.
For the next five years, the Ravens will provide $125,000 to Medstar Sports Medicine to support outreach and baseline testing. That enhances a new Maryland law which sets concussion guidelines for students and coaching.
“We are asking the athlete to basically shut it down, stop playing and tell us. Either tell the coach, tell the athletic director, tell the trainer, tell the team physician,” said Ravens team physician Dr. Andrew Tucker.
Tuesday’s announcement by the Ravens is part of the NFL’s pledge to make the game safer for all who play, including their own athletes.
More than 1,500 former players are suing the NFL, claiming it ignored evidence that repeated blows to the head trigger a condition known as CTE, which is linked to memory loss, depression and dementia.
There have been high-profile player suicides linked to concussions. The NFL just announced a $30 million grant for concussion research and teams like the Ravens are reaching out to young players.
“The respect for authority to understand that it is time for you to sit out. It is time for you to know there will be another fight,” said McClain.
The Ravens also give out informational packets on concussion awareness to hundreds of youth football programs in Maryland.