Friday, March 20, 2015

The Concussion Conundrum

Borland retires after rookie season due to health concerns

By: Ellen Buckley

Former Wisconsin Badger and linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers Chris Borland made the tough decision to retire at the young age of 24.  After one of the most successful rookie seasons in 49er history, Borland is being proactive about his mental health and taking a stance on the risks football has on causing permanent brain damage. 

The risk associated with repeated concussions is often some form of traumatic brain injury or disease.  According to ESPN, more than 70 former NFL players have been diagnosed with progressive neurological diseases after their brain has been tested post morbid.  Also, the NFL disclosed that “nearly three in 10 former players will develop debilitating brain conditions.” Unfortunately, Borland has had to see the effects and suffer the loss of friends because of this problem. Personally, he has only suffered two concussions in his career, both occurring during high school, but Borland says, “who knows how many hits is too many?” 

Borland’s retirement comes as a surprise to the NFL, coaches, and fans. However, most respect his decision to protect his health.  Borland says, “from what I’ve researched, and what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.”  Borland seems very confident with his decision and the least of his concerns is the money he could receive by playing just one more year.  According to Borland, “health is more important than a career in football.”

Although it is disappointing that we won’t be able to watch one of the best linebackers to come out of Wisconsin football, we can all be assured that he’s making a smart and educated decision; after all, he is a Badger. 

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