Monday, May 7, 2012
Warner's respectful concussion dialogue
By Mike Sando
Under criticism from ESPN's Merril Hoge and others, Kurt Warner has clarified his stance on concussions with a reasoned response that advances the conversation with civility.
Should we have expected anything less from the former St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals quarterback?
Warner disagrees with Hoge's contention that treatment for head trauma is the problem, more than the trauma itself. He personalizes the issue by noting that his own child has suffered effects from brain injury. He agrees with Hoge on the need for better treatment. He diffuses Hoge's contention that Warner should "get involved" with his kids' football programs to better ensure safety, pointing out how his 12-year-old son's Pop Warner league conducts baseline neurological testing.
Warner directly counters Hoge's contention that Warner was "uneducated" and "uninformed" on the subject matter. Drawing from his own experience as a player, Warner describes the pressure players feel to get back on the field. He points to the situation in Cleveland with Colt McCoy last season as evidence the NFL is still finding its way on the concussion issue.
Warner also differentiated between his approach as a player and his feelings as a parent.
"As a football player and a fan of the game, I want my kids to play the game that I am so passionate about," he wrote. "They currently play football, and there are few things that bring me more joy than watching them play and getting excited about the game I love. But, at the same time I am constantly concerned about my kids and the violence of the game of football. I worry about them suffering head trauma and developing any long-term issues as a result of that injury."
This was a nearly perfect followup to the less measured comments Warner made last week.