The sidelines: how regulations impact sports


Throughout sports, there have been many lessons that have been learned. One of those lessons learned is how injuries can impact an athlete. Due to this, there have been different types of regulations that have been put in place to secure the health of an athlete. However, a main concern is how much have these regulations proven to be a success?

Many sports such as hockey, football, and wrestling include athletes that have had to deal with contact with another opponent. Because of this, athletes in the past have tended to develop multiple injuries. With this in mind, many associations have put regulations into place to make sure that an athlete is being protected. For example, in the NFL, athletes who have had to withstand heavy contact to the head have to go through a procedure to confirm whether or not they are allowed back into the game. If they fail, they aren’t allowed to return and have to be watched by a medical professional for an extended amount of days until deemed fit to be able to play again. Although there are many precautions and regulations set in place, they aren’t always effective. 

There have been many instances in the past where an athlete. This tends to lead to dishonesty. Many athletes sometimes come back too soon from an injury. If an athlete re-injures himself or herself in the same area, there can be far worse consequences. As said in the article “Concussions in Football” by Michael Craig Miller, “One concern is that of ‘second-impact syndrome’. If two head injuries occur in relatively rapid succession, such as within the course of one game, the outcome can be catastrophic, with brain swelling and death.” This not only proves the impacts that a re-injury can have in the short term but also the lasting impact it can have on an athlete years later. 

However, some regulations can come from a horrible situation in which many athletes can be impacted by. For instance, the Larry Nassar case comes to mind in which there was a scandal about a doctor who sexually assaulted hundreds of children in the sport of gymnastics. This case was able to bring light to the horrible situation that had been going on for years for many children; however, there still was, and forever will be a lasting effect on those athletes that were impacted in the worst way. “Many of the girls and women abused by Nassar have battled mental health issues, including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and some have attempted suicide because of the abuse, which Nassar perpetrated under the guise of medical treatment,” said Juliet Macur in the article “Nassar Abuse Survivors Reach a $380 Million Settlement”. 

Even with all of the regulations that have been put in place throughout sports history, most have been added due to the impacts many athletes have to face for the rest of their lives. Life can be messy and that is no different with sports; however, the health of athletes should be a number one priority. In many cases, malpractice or negligence leads to the downfall of athletes not only losing the love or interest for their sports but who they are as people.