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Petitioning Associate Executive Director for Athletic Services, FHSAA Justin Harrison

FLORIDA: FULLY Inform Parents - Sub-Concussive Football Brain Damage Threatens Children

Superstar Will Smith's movie "Concussion" just hit theaters on Christmas Day.

I shed a tear more than once watching the movie on Christmas Day as did others, particularly parents, at the Carmike Cinema in Panama City, Florida, and throughout the country.

Parents now enlightened, and shocked, by the movie "Concussion" who now realize that their children and high school and college-bound youth who play football, or will be playing football, are in great danger of incurable rotting brain damage not only from symptomatic concussions, but also by repeated non-symptomatic "SUB-concussions."

The driving and vivid issue raised by the movie is that "science" detailed in the movie has proven unequivocally that not only professional football players with the National Football League (NFL), but children and youth in PeeWee, Pop Warner, High School and College football leagues are repeatedly damaging their still developing brains, among other life threatening injuries, by not only observable "concussions" resulting in unconsciousness of the child or youth or other symptoms but more seriously by repetitive undetected "SUB-concussions."

There have been seven (7) high school football deaths so far in 2015. One death is too many.

Flag football for children and youth, PeeWee through High School, is certainly an option that preserves the health and teamwork benefits of football but almost eliminates the violent danger inherent in tackle football.

These sub-concussions in high G-Force impacts accumulate by the hundreds or thousands in football leagues from childhood to college to professional that go undetected until the brain eventually rots due to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) deterioration of the brain caused by a cancer-like protein substance in the brain called TAU.

An Air Force pilot who faces 6-9 G's of force is subject to passing out.  I'm a former Air Force Officer and Instrumentation (Electrical) Engineer that helps me to understand not only G-forces but the science applied in the movie "Concussion."

During tackles football players routinely suffer 50 G's or more impact to their brains in a ground hit.  In a head-to-head helmet collision between two players at full running speed both players suffer impact forces reaching 100 G's.

The human brain was not designed to absorb the high impacts that are routine and repeated hundreds or thousands of times during a football career.  The most striking line in the movie "Concussion" is where Will Smith's Bennett Omalu character states, "God did not intend for us to play football."

The other most striking line was, "Tell the truth.  Tell the truth."

As the movie "Concussion" shows, CTE damage has been found repeatedly to cause NFL football players to go crazy, commit suicide, neglect their families, and wither into non-humans who suffer until death.  Currently CTE can only be diagnosed after the football players death during an autopsy and dissection and study of the brain.

Parents of children and youth who play football, or want to play football, are being woefully uninformed in Florida public schools as to the dangers of serious brain damage to their children from repeated sub-concussions that occur repeatedly during a routine football game.

Parents in Florida are currently required to sign a 
"Consent and Release from Liability Certificate for
Concussion and Heat-Related Illness" published by the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA).

However, Form EL3CH woefully makes no mention of the threat of unavoidable routine repeated "sub-concussions" that causes CTE brain damage to children and youth and the established threat to the future of the child or youth.

This petition asks the FHSAA, as an initial step, to amend Form EL3CH to FULLY warn parents of the CTE threat to their children and youth as supported by the indisputable "science" we now know from not only the movie "Concussion", but from other studies that prove that our children involved in football are at risk for brain damage.

FHSAA should communicate and coordinate with the Mayo Research Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, for consultation and recommendations on how to amend Form EL3CH.

 As a reporter for Bay Community News in Panama City, Bay County, Florida, I've done two extensive research stories on CTE and the threat to our children on December 9th and December 24th, 2015.

Laws in America now protect underage children from smoking, alcohol, underage sex, etc.  The FHSAA should not only amend the EL3CH form to warn parents, but should as well coordinate with Florida and federal lawmakers to consider passing a bill to protect children under 18 from CTE and devastating cumulative brain damage due to CTE and cancer-like TAU deposits.

Lastly, and most importantly, there is no cure for CTE brain damage to children, youth and adults.

On December 1, 2015 the Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, issued a press release reporting that they have found that 1 in 3 individuals (32%) out of the 66 brains studied from the Mayo Clinic Brain Bank who played contact sports as a child developed CTE damage to their brains and was a “pathology that had gone previously unrecognized.”

To the contrary, in a study of 198 brains of persons who did not have a history of playing contact sports in their youth, not a single brain showed any evidence of CTE.

 

The FHSAA and Florida and federal lawmakers must understand the research done on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) by the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida at the following links:

This petition was delivered to:
  • Associate Executive Director for Athletic Services, FHSAA
    Justin Harrison


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