How can Rutgers protest football spinal injuries?

In the wake of the tackle that left Rutgers player Eric LeGrand paralyzed, many of his teammates are looking for ways to help. Here's an idea.

Winslow Townson / AP
In this Oct. 17 photo, Ravens tight end Todd Heap, left, takes a hit from Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather, right, during an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass. The NFL announced Tuesday that they will immediately begin suspending players for dangerous and flagrant hits that violate rules, particularly those involving helmets. That's what the NFL has done. Players can make their own stand.

Right now every player on the Rutgers football team is wondering what they can do to help their paralyzed teammate, Eric LeGrand. No doubt, players for West Point who were on the field when LeGrand was injured tackling an Army runner, feel the same. What can they sacrifice? Time? Money?

There is probably very little they can do save Eric's spine now. Maybe, in time, he will walk again. Maybe not. That is out of his teammate's hands.

What is in their hands is the ability to make a statement. They could protest the design of the helmets that have hard shells which transmit the full impact of a helmet collision to the players neck. They could insist on wearing a soft cap -- the kind worn in the early 1990s by pro football players Mark Kelso (Buffalo Bills) and Steve Wallace (SF 49ers).

Some say the helmet doesn't look cool, but what could be cooler than having every Rutgers player walking onto the field this Saturday wearing one? What kind of statement would that make? What kind of message would it send to kids around the country?

If Army players insisted on the same thing, it would send just as powerful a message. I wonder which team has more courage to stand up to convention?

(HT to Paul Lukas and a personal note from Gregg Easterbrook which mentioned Kelso to me).

Add/view comments on this post.


The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link above.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.