Damar Hamlin’s demise revives NFL safety debate Is the league falling short? – Nation

The National Football League (NFL) is under closer scrutiny after Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin cardiac arrest and fell in the field in a game on Monday night.

The Bills vs Cincinnati Bengals game was cold and expected in the first quarter as 24-year-old defensive back Hamlin had to undergo cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) after falling to the ground following a tackle. The NFL postponed the game after paramedics took him to the intensive care unit as players and fans watched the events unfold in shock and grief.

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In light of this latest tragedy, experts say football safety protocols need to be carefully considered and minimize the risk to players.

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Bruce Kidd, emeritus professor of sports studies at the University of Toronto, said football is like a “double-edged sword” with a “huge” risk of injury for players but also provides entertainment that is it gives fans.

“It’s a sport that we love for the speed, for the drama and for the clash of beautifully moving bodies,” Kidd said.

But, “where do you draw the line where the risk is so high?”

“The trick is to minimize the risk while allowing the gains of those players and the cumulative benefits to happen.”

Seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady said on social media that moment “shows what it means to play this game we love.”

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Jack Goodman, an exercise and cardiovascular health expert and professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, says while it’s impossible to rule out all of the health-related risks in sports, but urgent action plans are needed to be able to respond promptly. .

“We have emergency equipment on hand, but the plan to use it really needs to be finalized,” he said.

“One of the ways we manage risk is to make sure we have great response plans in place so we can save someone’s life from this very thing.”

Click to play video: 'Damar Hamlin collapses: '24-year-old world-class athlete on CPR will stick with me,' says Bills reporter'

Damar Hamlin collapse: The image of a ’24-year-old world-class athlete on CPR will stick with me’, Bills reporter says

NFL says it is “committed to protecting players from unnecessary risk, while keeping the game fair, competitive and enjoyable.”

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Since 2002, The league says it’s made more than 50 rule changes “aims to eliminate potentially dangerous tactics and reduce the risk of injury.”

The NFL Competition Committee reviews and recommends any rule changes after receiving input from coaches, general managers, owners, players, the NFL Players Association and staff. medical staff.

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Amid concerns about an increase in concussion injuries, in 2018 The NFL made a mistake for the player to lower his head to start and make contact with his helmet with his opponent. Last year, the league tweaked that rule to penalize “forced contact.”

Kidd said such bans were a “step in the right direction”, but questioned whether the rules needed to be further strengthened.

Buffalo Bills safety, Damar Hamlin (3) fell onto the field as Buffalo Bills lineman Tremaine Edmunds (49) helped him during the first half of the NFL game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills, Monday, January 2, 2023, in Cincinnati.

Photo AP/Joshua A. Bickel

This is not the first time a professional athlete has suffered a life-threatening injury, such as a cardiac arrest or heart attack, on the court.

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At Euro 2020Danish footballer Christian Eriksen collapsed during his country’s match against Finland in Copenhagen.

The 29-year-old midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest and had to be given CPR on the pitch before being taken to the hospital.

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In 2012, England player Fabrice Muamba’s heart stopped beating for 78 minutes and he nearly died after collapsing on the pitch during an FA Cup match. He was 23 years old then.

Other professional footballers and athletes have died from cardiac arrest.

In 2003, centre-back Marc-Vivien Foe collapsed in the 72nd minute of Cameroon’s 1-0 win over Colombia in a Confederations Cup match in Lyon, France, and died shortly thereafter.

Click to play video: 'He's gone': Denmark's Christian Eriksen goes into cardiac arrest, doctor says tests normal'

‘He’s gone’: Denmark’s Christian Eriksen goes into cardiac arrest, but doctor tests normal

Doctors spent 45 minutes trying to restart Foe’s heart before he was pronounced dead. An autopsy revealed that the Olympique Lyonnais player had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic condition that increases the risk of collapse during training.

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In cycling, Belgian rider Michael Goolaerts has died after suffering a cardiac arrest during the Paris-Roubaix classic cycling race in 2018.

Canadian-Italian ice hockey player Darcy Robinson died after a heart attack and lost consciousness during a climactic game in Italy in 2007.

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Although rare, young and healthy athletes are not immune to heart problems, experts say.

“The most important thing to remember is that the sport itself is not the cause of these terrible events, but rather an underlying condition… or a very, very, rare culminating event,” Goodman said. .

“Everything has inherent risks, and the trick is to manage those risks and accept what makes sense.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, Hamlin remained in critical condition after spending the night in the intensive care unit with no further updates or details about his health.

— with files from Katherine Aylesworth of Global News, The Associated Press and Reuters

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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