Local congressman unveils new concussion campaign

Bay Area Congressman George Miller unveils a new concussion awareness campaign for high schools.
October 11, 2010 7:12:34 PM PDT
Flanked by student athletes and former NFL players, Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez) launched his campaign to raise awareness in high school sports about the seriousness of concussions.

It happened again on Oct. 3, another NFL player received a concussion. This time, it was Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.

Congressman George Miller, D-Martinez, wants to change a sports culture that encourages players to suck it up and play despite a ferocious hit to the head.

"There's a certain element of toughness in all of these sports, but sometimes toughness can be lethal," says Miller.

Miller and NFL officials on Monday unveiled a poster at Pinole Valley High School describing the signs, symptoms, and risks of concussions.

This is the same poster that's in all NFL locker rooms. Miller now wants it hung in every high school locker room.

Also at the poster unveiling was former San Francisco 49er linebacker Keena Turner. He still remembers his concussion from college.

"I think the one in Purdue was my worst one. I got kicked in the head, you know, by a running back," says Turner.

Last year, Pinole Valley High linebacker Travis Feeney missed three weeks of football because of his concussion.

"All I remember is I ran and everything else just blacked out after that," says Feeney.

Feeney says this campaign is long overdue.

"We should have had it earlier, but I'm glad that it's happening now. Everybody really needs to know that concussions are no joke," says Feeney.

Miller has introduced legislation that would set safety standards for public schools in dealing with concussions. This after hearing horror stories from student athletes during a Congressional hearing.

"In one case, a student is fully disabled because of an injury in a softball game with multiple concussions [which were] improperly diagnosed," says Miller.

The stories were enough to move Miller to carry the ball on the danger of concussions.


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