Tag Archives: risk
Katharine Silbaugh,Professor of Law and Law Alumni Scholar at the Boston University School of Law, recently published a 74-page article entitled “The Legal Design for Parenting Concussion Risk.” The full article can be found at https://scholarship.law.bu.edu/faculty_scholarship/791/
The abstract follows:
This Article addresses a question as yet unexplored in the emerging concussion risk literature: how does the statutorily assigned parental role in concussion risk management conceptualize the legal significance of the parent, and does it align with other areas of law that authorize and limit parental risk decision-making? Parents are the centerpiece of the “Lystedt” youth concussion legislation in all fifty states, and yet the extensive legal literature about that legislation contains no discussion of parents as legal actors and makes no effort to situate their statutory role into the larger legal framework of parental authority. This Article considers the Lystedt framework from the perspective of other law engaging parental authority and parental decision-making, placing Lystedt’s parental role in that larger family law framework. That lens reveals that the Lystedt legislation may be using the cultural capital of parental authority to shield youth athletic leagues from having to fully grapple with concussion risk. Under the Lystedt framework, parents are unwittingly functioning as an impediment to safety improvements, shielding athletic associations from conventional pressures to improve. The operation of Lystedt is in this way a departure from related areas of law that set boundaries on parental authority to accept risk of injury on behalf of a child, including limitations on the enforcement of parental waivers of liability. Finally, Lystedt unrealistically elevates parental responsibility without adequately providing parents the capacity and opportunity to be effective protectors of their children’s welfare. I argue that in a time of intense cultural ambivalence about concussion risk in athletics, the rich concept of parental authority is expropriated in the Lystedt concussion statutes to avoid threats to the structure of youth sports that would otherwise be vulnerable to pressures to change in order to reduce concussion risk. The NFL lobbied states to adopt this legislation, under which parents function to preserve the status quo.
Author Douglas W. Green made the case in Education Week Tuesday that “football is the new smoking.”
Green argues that society, all the way back to ancient Rome, loves violence. But he also makes the case that there may be an end in sight:
“Watching people you don’t know beat the crap out of each other might be fun for some, but how about when it’s your own flesh and blood? While violent movies and computer games are very popular, most of our population limits violence view to the virtual variety.”
But even when football is gone, there will be other sports, where the byproduct is concussions. He notes cheerleading as an example:
“Perhaps the biggest risk for girls is cheerleading. When I was in high school, the cheerleaders barely got off the floor, and no one I know remembers a cheerleader injury from my era. Today, some cheerleading teams don’t even cheer as they are focused to prepare for cheerleading competitions. If you haven’t seen one of these affairs, you should give it a try. They feature girls standing on each other, throwing each other about, manic tumbling, and all sorts of opportunities for serious injuries. I have yet to attend a competition that didn’t feature at least one girl, usually more, being taken out in a wheel chair or on a stretcher.”
I was a big kid growing up. So they didn’t let me play with the normal-sized 7th graders. Back then, we might call that unfair. Today, we call that prudent .
Take for example what is going on with the Baylor University football team.
Yahoo Sports recently wrote about Baylor’s decision to put a no-contact restriction for its players when it comes to tackling tight end LaQuan McGowan.
McGowan is no ordinary football player. He is 6-foot-7, 400-plus pounds, and possesses the nickname, “The Annihilator.”
The school ultimately put no-contact restrictions on McGowan so he wouldn’t injure his defensive teammates in the spring. But the risk of concussion and other injuries will be present for opponents when the season starts.
“Me and a linebacker (Grant Campbell) went head-to-head and it didn’t end well,” McGowan told the media about a spring encounter. “They’re going to take the chains off (for the first game). I’m going to come out with a full head of steam.”