We have been banging the drum to get the AFL and NFL to take head injuries seriously and now we have more support with The Project sharing a moving, warts-and-all interview with international rugby star, Michael Lipman, who lays bare the brutal truth about concussions.
It seems we’re going to need stories like these in the mass media to get the football codes to pay proper attention to concussion.
As you can see in the video, below, Michael and Frankie Lipman have been on television to promote their book, Concussion, as part of their mission to make the football codes take this seriously.
The book is described as, the revealing, confronting and shocking story of how sports-related concussion and the damage it causes can change a person’s life and the impact it has on their family.
The cruel truth behind this is that that STILL the AFL is not moved by the serious consequences of concussion when we know that just one event, let alone multiple blows to the head, can be permanently damaging.
At a legal level, these professional players like Michael Lipman in rugby and countless AFL players, are being denied safe work practices!
And it is horrifying to think that the Australian Football League is focussing on children to bring them up through the ranks to play the game.
We must protect these children and parents.
No game is worth the risk of brain damage at any time in life!
From what I have seen in my work as a neuro-vestibular physiotherapist who has been treating people with the knock-on effects of mild traumatic brain injury for many decades, we need a campaign now, aimed at the AFL in particular, called, “Choose Another Sport!”
The brutal truth about concussions
In the Lipmans’ book, Concussion, they claim concussion has become one of the biggest issues in contact sports, despite the fact that administrators seem to be working overtime to minimise the issue.
The blurb from the book, Concussion, is worth a read:
Only in the past decade have the consequences of repeated head knocks become better understood, and the science is still catching up. But with the discovery of CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, in the brains of deceased footballers, it is now known that the onset of a form of dementia, caused by repeated concussions, can strike people as young as their thirties and forties.
This is what happened to Michael Lipman, a former rugby international, who came out in public in 2020 as having had a diagnosis of early-onset dementia and probable CTE.
In Concussion, Michael and his wife Frankie Lipman tell their story with courage and candour. For Michael, the damage was already done before he met Frankie. When they fell in love, he was a retired footballer in his mid-thirties, prone to moments of bizarre behaviour and memory loss. Since then, Michael and Frankie have become parents together, as Michael’s challenges have grown. Living with Michael’s degenerative brain condition is the future they face.
Concussion is both an emotional personal journey and a deep insight into our understanding of CTE. Michael and Frankie’s message is urgent, moving and important, and a must-read for anyone involved in contact sports.
We can only hope that Peter FitzSimons is right when he says, it is, “a tale so strong that it will help to change the whole nature of contact sports.”
We’re not holding our breath but we’ll continue making noise until we’re heard!