KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Chief’s safety Husain Abdullah becomes the latest NFL player to walk away from football after suffering multiple concussions. But football players aren't the only athletes concerned about head injuries.
The concerns surrounding concussions having a major impact on sports culture, and players are starting to take precautions.
“I had one too many concussions. Back in my high school days, I had about five in a year and a half time span,” said Kris Tyrpak of the Swope Park Rangers.
Tyrpak has played soccer since he was five years old. In high school, that’s when the sport started getting rough. His concussions happened in several different ways: balls to the head, head to elbow, and slamming into goalies.
Tyrpak now wears this protective head gear which he says has already been a lifesaver since joining the Swope Park Rangers.
“It adds a little extra protection there. I had a scare in preseason where if I wasn’t wearing it I would’ve for sure had a concussion,” he said.
Concussions have been an increasing problem in sports and experts say it starts even at a young age. The newly discovered dangers of head injuries has prompted medical experts to search for new ways to detect concussions.
“Putting kids back in the game, saying 'suck it up, are you going to be ok?' Those days are gone,” said Brad Childers, a soccer coach at the FC Kansas City Soccer Club.
The U.S Soccer Federation has taken steps to reduce concussions among youth soccer players by banning players under 11 from heading the ball and reducing headers in practice.
“For me to be able to coach, I have to have a concussion certification; the officials are stopping the game any time there’s anything questionable to have the kids evaluated,” said Childers.
Tyrpak has been wearing his head gear for seven years.
“I had no clue that concussions would have a big part in how I play now,” Tyrpak said.
Coaches may always tell their players to keep their head in the game, but now players are starting to think about their head outside the game too.