Seeking to bring attention to one of football’s most pressing health issues, the Ravens and MedStar Sports Medicine announced an effort today to raise awareness about concussions.
The Ravens pledged $125,000 over five years to the cause, which will focus on teaching youth athletes, their parents, coaches and teammates the symptoms of concussions. They will be encouraged to sit out of the game until their are cleared by a doctor to resume play and to get a baseline test so clinicians can more easily assess if players' brains have been damaged.
The money also went toward a new public service announcement featuring linebacker Jameel McClain, who finishes the segment with "When in doubt, sit it out."
The NFL has been trying to tackle the issue of concussion in general by changing the culture of playing while hurt. Officials have broadened educational efforts and funded research at the National Institutes of Health. Officials also have partnered with the military to raise awareness about concussions.
The moves are partially in response to lawsuits by former players and families, who contend the football league did not provide enough information to those who suffered concussions. Many now have on-going issues with pain and memory that they believe are linked to repeated blows to the head.