Lawmakers in North Carolina are working on a bill that, if passed, would be quite controversial. According to Bradford William Davis of Vocativ.com, North Carolina House Bill 116 “will give parents the power to decide if their concussed child can reenter the game.”
If this passes, it wouldn’t only be controversial. It would be quite stupid.
The extreme example comes from the overbearing parents who live vicariously through their children. If the kid is taken out of a game but can still move, these are likely the parents who’d be most adamant about letting their children return.
Thankfully, that’s a minority group of parents. But those parents deciding if a concussed minor can return to a game is a scary thought. In realty, though, they’re not the only ones.
Speaking from vast experience, one absolute comment can be made about a majority parents of high school athletes. They’re not the most rational people in the world. This transcends wealth, race, political persuasion, gender, or anything else that so often divides our society. When the game is over, the more rational parents can turn some of the irrational thinking off better than the aforementioned overbearing ones can. Still, crowds at high school games are typically filled with irrational parents.
Frankly, it’s expected. Irrational thinking is par for the course when parents of minors are involved.
Imagine being a parent of a good player during a game where scouts are known to be in attendance. Relatively early in the game, your son is removed with a possible concussion. You can see him on the sideline, his legs look okay. Why not let him back on the field to give him a chance to impress the scouts some more?
As Davis pointed out, most parents are not trained medical professionals.
When it comes to matters as serious as concussions, the medical professionals are really the only voices that matter. If a medical professional says that a player can’t re-enter a game, that should be the end of the argument. Frankly, if there’s any doubt whatsoever, that should be the end of the argument.
This is true with professional athletes. It certainly extends to minors. The stakes are just too high for a person not in the medical profession to have any say and veto power in the matter.