After a brain injury ended her career, Briana Scurry committed herself to building awareness around the issue of brain injuries in sports. The U.S. Women’s Soccer team is often considered the best in the world, and Briana Scurry was a crucial part of it as the team’s goalkeeper from 1994 to 2008. During her career she won both the World Cup and an Olympic gold medal, and was ranked as one of the top players in the game.
All that came to end when another player mistakenly kneed her head while chasing a low ball. What was at first thought to be a mild concussion developed into a traumatic brain injury that left Scurry depressed and in pain for months.
Although she recovered safely, it also became clear she would not be able to return to the sport. Now she frequently reminds us of the dangers of these injuries. Here’s a look at some numbers you ought to know.
The Dangers of Brain Injuries
Brain injuries are a massive problem in this country, particularly in sports. Here is just a brief look at some of the numbers Scurry and others have helped share.
- Half of all female athletes will suffer at least one concussion; this is even more common than for male athletes.
- 248,418 children are treated with head injuries each year.
- 7 million Americans suffer from brain injury each year.
- 52,000 people die from these injuries every year.
Briana Scurry stresses that she does not regret her involvement in professional sports. She believes it has done wonderful things for her life, but she is concerned about the safety of players, especially children. Many children play in sports leagues while their parents are unaware of the dangers. After the NFL made a $900 million settlement to retired players suffering from head injuries, it might be time for other sports leagues to confront similar problems with these injuries. This could set a positive example for recreational leagues as well.
Additionally, parents of children in sports programs should become better educated if they are going to allow their children to play. Prominent sports role models such as Briana Scurry can draw attention to the issue and remind people that there is a dire need for us to have a conversation about sports safety.
Targan Pender & Strickland, P.C. is a New Jersey personal injury law firm that fights to empower victims of brain injury and other accidents.