It's a sad day in the great State of Texas when a father protecting his family is frowned upon. I know as Texans that traditionally we have always valued football but I thought that God and family still came before grid iron glory.
Craig James, the father, not Craig James the Texas football legend or ESPN analyst did exactly what a responsible father should do for his family...period. However, unpopular and controversial it may be to some.
He should be commended for doing whatever is necessary to protect the health and well being of his family and in this instance his son, Adam.
Let's call it for what it was. Craig James' son was being punished, publicly humiliated, ostracized, ridiculed, made example of or however else you want to describe the confinement for alerting the staff that he had suffered a concussion. The curious actions of the coach very well may have been an attempt to 'set the tone' for the program; albeit a very dangerous one.
Thankfully, our country has been of late moving in a more enlightened direction as it pertains to concussions. The NFL has finally chosen to take up the mantle and lead a public initiative towards player safety. And as predicted, due in large part to Commissioner Roger Goodell's leadership, this information and perspective has begun to filter down to football programs, players and families on all levels.
Concussions are serious injuries and are not to be taken lightly by the player or coaching staff.
Adam James did exactly what players have been instructed to do when it comes to concussion safety and management, alert the medical staff and coaches immediately. Unfortunately, when this young man did as instructed, all hell broke loose.
Now those responsible for this debacle have embarked on an even more bizarre course and begun to publicly attack the injured player. If Adam James is tough, a hard worker, has the right attitude, thinks he is entitled or harbors any other potential perceived character flaw is inconsequential when discussing proper concussion management.
In a bizarre way, I am thankful that this shameful scenario happened to a family with the stature of the James' family. If this would have happened to another young athlete from a different family situation, one that didn't feel adequately empowered to publicly confront a 'big time' football coach or program, it may have been business as usual and the world would have never known. And the other players would have learned the lesson of what happens to a player that reports a concussion.
Statements have been made suggesting that sequestering Adam in a dark place against his will did not further injure him. Maybe it did or didn't but it certainly had no role in proper concussion management. The treating physician didn't prescribe such actions nor should he have. So I ask. Why was it done?
I will take the road less traveled and publicly applaud Craig James the father. Do you think for one moment that he didn't realize as this thing was spiraling downward that it may be extremely unpopular, bad for his public image and consequently his career?
Craig James is a Texas football legend, a retired NFL player and an ESPN analyst but most of all a good dad.
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