Brain Injury Expert, Dr. Bennet Omalu Calls For Ban On Heading In Football
Do you remember Dr. Bennet Omalu, the Nigerian brain injury expert who inspired the Will Smith-led movie, Concussion? Well, apparently, the doctor thinks chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) – the brain disease he discovered in American football players – could also affect footballers.
Caused by repeated blows to the head and concussions, CTE is a disease that makes neurons in the body to stop functioning as they should. Just as in the case of American football players who led to his groundbreaking study, Dr Omalu believes it’s dangerous for footballers to head the ball, as it can result in brain damage.
So, he’s calling for football associations to look into banning heading, at least for players under 18. Speaking on BBC Radio 5, he said:
“It does not make sense to control an object travelling at a high velocity with your head.
Kids under the age of 12 to 14 should play a less contact form of [football] which we should develop for them. Kids between 12 and 18 can play but should not head the ball.”
Judging from what we saw in Concussion, pushing for this kind of change is not going to be easy, but we hope football authorities actually look into it.