DEDHAM, Mass. — Dover-Sherborn Regional High mom Shemica Santos says football is a controversial sport in her family.
“My own family members won’t let their kids play football because of concussions. They want them to play basketball but the same thing can happen in that sport,” Santos said.
Santos cheered on her son, a senior captain at Dover-Sherborn Regional High, as the Raiders took on the Dedham Marauders Friday night. Santos says her son has played football since he was six years old and never had a concussion, but she was chilled watching Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailo suffer an apparent brain injury Thursday night.
“I automatically knew it was something neurological because [Tua] tensed up,” Santos said, referring to what is known as a fencing response. “I just wish that people who are higher up with the organizations and the sports teams would take more responsibility in acknowledging that someone shouldn’t play.”
The NFL and NFLPA have come under fire for the head injuries Tagovailo appeared to suffer Sunday against the Bills and against the Bengals four days later. Boston University CTE Center co-founder Chris Nowinski sent out a scathing tweet criticizing the Dolphins and the league hours before Tua’s second concussion Thursday night.
“If Tua takes the field tonight, it’s a massive step back for #concussion care in the NFL. If he has a 2nd concussion that destroys his season or career, everyone involved will be sued & should lose their jobs, coaches included. We all saw it, even they much know this isn’t right,” the tweet said.
Dr. Daniel Daneshvar, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and director of Teachaids Institute for Brain Research and Innovation, said concussions need the proper time to heal and Tua should have never been in that position.
“[Tua] should have been held for proper recovery after the first concussion,” Daneshvar said. “The vast majority of concussions, you give them time and properly monitor them, they’ll get better and you’ll recover.
The CDC says concussion symptoms include headaches, nausea, balance issues, double or blurry vision, confusion and depression.
“If there’s any doubt, sit [players] out. That really should be the mantra parents have across the country when they see scary things like this happen,” Daneshvar said.
Bhaskar Banerjee’s son is a senior on the Raiders and said his family is aware of the risk.
“We’re always worried. But he loves the sport and it’s a big thing, it’s a big social thing, " Banerjee said. “Football is not going away. They just have to play it safe.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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