The Carolina Panthers did more than just hold an NFL Play 60 event for the kids at Fort Bragg, N.C., on Tuesday. They also tried to change the concussion culture on the U.S. Army base.
An NFL Network crew was there to watch the Panthers conduct a workout for base children, then talk with soldiers about concussion awareness. The visit was part of the NFL’s partnership with the U.S. Army to share information on concussions.The Panthers said some of the biggest issues they face on the field is getting teammates to take head injuries seriously.
“I can have my ankle replaced, I can have my hip replaced, but the brain can’t do a transplant, and that’s what really turned the light on for me that I needed to take this serious,” former Panthers defensive end Mike Rucker said.
Added Panthers center Ryan Kalil: “I think the NFL and the Army have done an incredible job being at the forefront of this. It’s helping to kill the stigma of that you’re not tough if you don’t carry on or don’t continue.”
The players said they want to start early to help convince the next generation that it’s OK to sit out after sustaining a head injury. “This isn’t going to be something that happens overnight,” Kalil said. “But when you look 10, 15, 20 years from now, hopefully you’ll have seen a big difference in that culture and it’s changed.”
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