Bruce Allen Goes To Capitol Hill!

Allen and John Booty Part of Panel On Brain Injuries and Concussions

[Redskins GM Bruce Allen on Capital Hill yesterday to share what the NFL, and the Redskins organization
 is doing to bring awareness to the issue of concussions in sports. Photo: CD Brown.]

 The debate over concussions and brain injuries continue to be a hot topic. In the spirit of Brain Injury Awareness Day, two area sports figures took to Capital Hill yesterday, along with physicians, to bring awareness to an ever increasing important topic.

While the topic of concussions isn't specific to just sports and athletes (elderly and infants can get concussions as well), Redskins' general manager Bruce Allen, and former NFL Philadelphia Eagle defensive back John Booty, along with an esteemed panel of physicians studying the topic, hosted a 'From the Playground to the Pros: A Heads Up on Concussion' forum at the Capitol Visitor's Center yesterday.

It is estimated that there are 1.7 million people suffering with concussions or some form of traumatic brain injury. This figure is up from 1.4 million since 1996.

The NFL is taking strides to ensure player safety, making it a top priority.

"Equipment safety has become a priority", said Allen. There are conferences across the country just on helmet safety. We're looking into every way we can, as a League, to improve the safety", said Allen.

Next month, the Redskins plan to invite over 500 coaches and players to the Redskins' facility to discuss and educate players and coaches on the topic.

[Former Redskin and Philly Eagle, John Booty speaks on concussions in the NFL. Photo: CD Brown.]

Personal accountability also plays a role. The NFL is mandating that both players, and teammates, inform the necessary team official when a concussion is expected.

"Players want to play, said John Booty as he talked about his own experience having a being concussed when he played. "It's the way we've been programmed from our youth."

Booty sites the big contracts, and being seen as a tough guy on the field as reasons why many players continue to play with concussions.

"But in the end it's personal responsibility for my livelihood, and family."

To learn the symptoms of concussions and learn what you can do to minimize brain injury risks, visit the CDC website.

March Is Brain Injury Awareness Month.

NFL on concussions.