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posted: 1/1/2014 5:00 AM

Educate athletes about injury risk

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Am I the only one getting tired of reading the "woe is me" stories about brain injuries resulting from sports such as football and boxing? I find it hard to believe that we haven't been aware for many years that our brains cannot withstand battering without repercussions. I am 70 years old and had to be watched to for signs of brain injury when I fell and hit my head at age 11.

I am not saying we have to eliminate sports that can cause brain damage, as I believe that is one of the freedoms that living in a democracy gives us. But it is time to have people who choose to play such sports be educated of the potential brain injuries they can incur and then sign waivers so they cannot sue if they wind up with those injuries.

I'd like to believe those who sky-dive, bungee jump, mountain climb and all the other very dangerous sports have to sign away liability to participate in their very dangerous activities, so why are we leaving out the "acceptable" sports when we know the potential for life-threatening injuries exist? We, unfortunately, live in a sue-crazy, not-my-fault society which will continue as long as lawyers and their clients can collect ridiculous amounts of money from lawsuits that shouldn't even be allowed.

I'm not sure how to handle children being allowed to play such sports. Do we allow the parents to make those decisions, accepting the liability for their children and allowing the children to sue their parents if they are seriously injured, or ban them from playing until they are old enough to accept that responsibility for themselves?

It's time for adults to accept responsibility for the decisions they make.

Janet Lumm


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