On Dec. 20th, 2010 Brett Favre suited up for the Minnesota Vikings not knowing he would be knocked unconscious and led off the field, never to play again. Seven years later Favre reflects on his time playing professional football and how little he knew about how the playing surface affects players’ safety. His story unfolds alongside Gracie Hussey’s. Now a high school senior, Hussey has been plagued by Post-Concussion Syndrome caused by hitting her head on the turf while playing soccer when she was 13. Their stories speak for the thousands of athletes who are suffering head and body injuries on fields that could be built safer.
There are between an estimated 1.6 and 3.8 million sports-related concussions in the United States every year. The rate of concussions in youth soccer doubled from 1990 to 2014 and there are there are approximately 67,000 diagnosed concussions in high school football every year. When you take into account one-in-five concussions are suffered from a head-to-turf impact, the playing surface begins to become a major factor in reducing the severity and repercussions of head injuries in sports.
Shocked: “The Hidden Factor in the Sports Concussion Crisis” explores the lives affected by collisions with the turf, the evolution and science of synthetic turf, the safety pitfalls prevalent in the industry, testing and maintenance of artificial turf, and what needs to be done to reduce the risk for athletes, from pee-wees to the pros.