Sports doctor: Brain injuries won't stop people playing contact sports

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 13 August 2019, 4:43PM
An acclaimed neurologist says that the sports are on the out. (Photo / File)

A sports doctor has pushed back at claims people will stop playing contact sports because of potential brain injuries.

It comes after comments made by Doctor Bennet Omalu, the pioneering neuropathologist who first discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the brains of NFL stars.

In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Omalu said: "In the next generation or two, mankind won't be playing sports like rugby or football or ice hockey or mixed martial arts.

"It just doesn't make sense to be damaging the brain of a human being."

The Nigerian-born doctor also called for a ban on children playing contact sports: "It's almost like child abuse, to intentionally expose a child to injury," he told the SMH.

However, Warriors and former All Black Doctor John Mayhew told Simon Barnett and Phil Gifford that’s nonsense.

"I think you have to put things in perspective here. Dr Omalu is a pathologist who isn't dealing with live athletes." 

Dr Mayhew says that if current research shows that if you recover from a concussion, you won't have long-lasting injuries. 

He says that we need to manage head injuries properly and not dismiss the effect of sustaining one, but that people should avoid becoming risk averse. 


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