WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Dylan Thomas, a 17-year-old football player at Pike County High School, died on Sunday evening after suffering a head injury during Friday’s game.
- The recent injuries in football have opened a debate for stricter safety regulations or a higher age requirement.
- Studies have shown that repetitive hits to the head, which are common football injuries, may lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease.
Dylan Thomas, a 17-year-old football player at Pike County High School in Zebulon, Georgia, has died after suffering injuries during a game.
According to school officials, the high school linebacker suffered a head injury during the second quarter of Friday’s game. Athletic Director James Stanford and Coach Brad Webber are still investigating the exact moment of impact.
His uncle, Nick Burgess, told The Associated Press that Thomas later collapsed on the sidelines when an arm and leg went numb, and was rushed to a regional hospital before being transferred to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta for surgery.
Burgess detailed on Facebook that after Thomas’ brain swelled and he went into a coma, he died on Sunday evening.
On Monday afternoon’s news conference, Webber stated, “We have the video, we’re evaluating the entire thing. It wasn’t anything that stuck out, we’re still reviewing it. As we can tell right now he was not involved in a tackle. He was coherent, able to speak when he came to the sideline.”
Friends, students, and residents of Zebulon flooded social media with tributes to Thomas. Burgess also started a donation page to cover medical costs and lost income, and had raised more than $32,000 by Monday afternoon.
Webber described Thomas as “one of the finest young men I have ever met” and stated that the team “held prayer vigil in the courtyard. The whole group is tight knit, it’s rough, it’s devastating.”
Stafford praised Thomas’ “work ethic” and referred to him as “the heart and soul of our defense.”
The recent football injuries have opened a debate over whether stricter safety regulations are needed. Some have started to question whether teenagers and young children should be allowed to play football at all.
Researchers at Boston University discovered in a long-term study last year that athletes who began playing tackle football before the age of 12 had more cognitive and behavioral problems later in life than those who started playing after they turned 12.
Several studies have linked concussions or simple repetitive hits to the head – which are common football injuries – to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease.
Source: NBC News