US Concussion expert: World Cup sets bad example - CBS46 News

US Concussion expert: World Cup sets bad example

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Themba Hadebe). Germany's Christoph Kramer gets assistance during the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe). Germany's Christoph Kramer gets assistance during the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 13, 2014.
(AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko) (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
(AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko) (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar). Germany's Christoph Kramer is substituted by Germany's Andre Schuerrle during the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar). Germany's Christoph Kramer is substituted by Germany's Andre Schuerrle during the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 13, 2014.
(AP Photo/Frank Augstein). Germany's Christoph Kramer, center, is lead off the field after suffering an injury during the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein). Germany's Christoph Kramer, center, is lead off the field after suffering an injury during the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 13, 2014.
  • NationalMore>>

  • Slow North Dakota city fire alert raises concern

    Slow North Dakota city fire alert raises concern

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:23 AM EDT2014-07-24 12:23:59 GMT
    A more efficient system must be established to alert residents of danger in North Dakota's booming oil patch, an emergency manager and residents said, after authorities failed to alert the public for more than...More >
    A more efficient system must be established to alert residents of danger in North Dakota's booming oil patch, an emergency manager and residents said, after authorities failed to alert the public for more than six...More >
  • Suspected Nazi guard's death a blow to prosecutors

    Suspected Nazi guard's death a blow to prosecutors

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:53 AM EDT2014-07-24 11:53:04 GMT
    German efforts to prosecute aging war criminals suffered a setback this week with the death of a retired Philadelphia toolmaker who had long been in the crosshairs of Nazi hunters.More >
    German efforts to prosecute aging war criminals suffered a setback this week with the death of a retired Philadelphia toolmaker who had long been in the crosshairs of Nazi hunters.More >
  • Family: Teen pilot who crashed in ocean knew risks

    Family: Teen pilot who crashed in ocean knew risks

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:52 AM EDT2014-07-24 11:52:23 GMT
    The family of an Indiana teenager who crashed in the Pacific Ocean during an around-the-world flight says he knew the risks and had prepared for them.More >
    Haris Suleman knew that flying around the world carried risks. But like adventurers before him, the 17-year-old pilot from Indiana also believed dreams aren't achieved without taking chances.More >
By JIMMY GOLEN
AP Sports Writer

BOSTON (AP) - World Cup organizers repeatedly failed to follow their own concussion protocol and then failed to take advantage of the international interest in the tournament to teach soccer fans and young players about the dangers of head injuries, concussion expert Chris Nowinski said Tuesday.

"I'm worried about how many kids emulate these athletes. It wasn't just one athlete hurt; it was one multiplied by 1 million," Nowinski said. "They didn't even use a bully pulpit and say: 'This is unacceptable.'"

Several times in the monthlong tournament, players sustained obvious concussions but continued to play - a practice doctors agree can put them at risk of severe brain damage.

In the final, Germany midfielder Christoph Kramer stayed in the game after colliding with Argentina defender Ezequiel Garay. Kramer later had to be helped off the field and said he couldn't remember much from the collision - signature symptoms of a concussion.

"Clearly if there is a protocol, it isn't being followed," Nowinski said.

A Harvard football player turned professional wrestler who retired because of concussions in the ring, Nowinski helped start the Sports Legacy Institute to educate the public about head injuries. The group held a conference Tuesday to roll out its "hit count" initiative to help track and reduce concussions in young athletes.

Although Nowinski is more concerned about amateur players - who might not be able to make decisions about their health, and who aren't compensated for the damage they may be sustaining - the World Cup injuries to Kramer and others who became disoriented or even unconscious showed that even the pros need to be protected.

"It was a great teaching point: Immediately after the injury, you can't leave it up to the athlete," Nowinski said. "Some of these concussions, they clearly weren't able to make decisions for themselves."

FIFA was criticized by the professional players' union, FIFPro, and others such as TV analyst Taylor Twellman, a former Major League Soccer star who retired because of concussions.

"Here we go again FIFA...#WorldCupFinal and your ineptitude to address the head injury problem is for everyone to see. Kramer was concussed!" he wrote on Twitter during the championship match. "Before I die, I will get FIFA to change their ways and get an independent doctor on the sideline."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by WorldNow
CBS Atlanta
Powered by WorldNow
All content © 2000-2014 WorldNow and WGCL-TV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.