Professional athletes have been known to play with collapsed lungs, broken legs, concussions and countless numbers of other injuries. Some have fought with team doctors following an incident to get back into the game without delay. Players have even been known to deceive coaches and trainers on the sidelines when they are injured just to get back to playing–many, well before they should.
Pro athletes remain in denial to the reality of their own physical injuries and the long term potential effects towards their overall health.
Leigh Steinberg, one of the most influential persons in pro sports, has become increasingly vocal regarding the injury and recovery of players today. Leigh has openly commented that he needed to educate himself on the aspects of the game, and that law school hadn’t prepared him for the issues at the forefront and in the news. He felt he needed knowledge attained through medical school to possess the ability to give a second opinion and to be zealous and able to safeguard the health of professional athletes.
During his 30-year career, Steinberg has represented over 150 pro athletes in football, baseball, basketball, boxing and Olympic sports.
He has represented the number one overall pick in the NFL draft a record eight times–a milestone unmatched within the sports industry. Steinberg is often credited as the real life inspiration of the sports agent from the film, Jerry Maguire.
Steinberg has successfully negotiated over $2 billion in contracts for superstars like Troy Aikman, Steve Young and Ryan Leaf. He has been rated the #6 Most Powerful Person in the NFL according to Football Digest and the #16 Most Powerful Person in Sports according to Sporting News.
It is no surprise that athletes are hurting themselves in a professional sport system that appears to turn a blind eye for the sake of big money.
Teams are reluctant to keep their star players out of play for a length of time as this may hamper a playoff run, standings in the league or financial gain. Even those that seek medical intervention and treatment, in some cases, return to play without sufficient recovery to do their job. There have been reports of athletes who continue to play with diagnosed problems in the groin, when in actuality, their hip needed to be replaced.
A movement is growing across the North America to protect young football players. Football is not the only contact sport where athletes need better protection. Visionary California State Assemblyman, Ken Cooley, just proposed a law, that was passed by both houses, that will limit high school and middle school football practice time.
No full-contact drills will be permitted in the off-season and they will be further limited during the playing season.
Nineteen states have passed similar legislation to minimize injuries to athletes and several other state laws are pending.
Some people have even forecasted the eventual death of football if the lawsuits, concussions and life altering injuries do not cease. The game itself is not likely to change but in order to save the athletes it has been suggested, by many league officials, that Neurologists have a place on the sidelines of every game for players of all ages.
Get the inside scoop on the possible demise of some sports and changes to the game from one of the most influential persons working with professional athletes today, Leigh Steinberg.
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