There is a concussion crisis in sport. In some ways, concern about brain injuries in sport is nothing new. Over a century ago, medical journals started campaigning against the dangers of sport, and there were specific attempts to ban U.S. college football in the early 1900s and abolish tackle football in the 1950s. But the current crisis is different in four key respects:
- It is a multisport injury crisis, spanning combat sports, various forms of football, hockey, and lacrosse to name but a few.
- The crisis is global in nature, with debates in North America paralleled in most other English-speaking nations and, increasingly, mainland Europe.
- The crisis extends beyond one type of injury—concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI)—and is now inseparable from concerns about second impact syndrome and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). It even includes concerns about the influence of barely perceivable “sub-concussive” impacts.
- The crisis is distinct in terms of its penetration into the popular cultural imagination, notably through the book and documentary League of Denial and popular movie Concussion.