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Not Commonly Known Dangers of Sports

Date: Mon, 23 May 2011 18:53:48 -0000
From: J.Deva
Subject: Not Commonly Known Dangers of Sports



Note: This entire topic is related with a news article that is appended below.

It is very unfortunate that mostly the "glorious" aspects of sports are highly touted - things like rewards, championships, fame, money, and star power etc. Yet very little is said about the vast numbers of athletes who are broken, left behind, overlooked and left for dead - even killed.

Children and students today only hear about the glorified tales of those superstars. In this way they get a one-sided portrait; they do not get the facts. So they blindly chase after that stardom, not aware of the overwhelming odds against them and the many pitfalls along the way.

To youths, indeed the rewards of being a star athlete are seemingly grand. That is why they become so enamoured. Yet they do not know about the millions who got hurt and looked over in trying to become a star. For every single all-star there are hundreds of thousands who were  left behind and destroyed.

In that process their lives got ruined: Their bodies are destroyed; their dreams are shattered; their psychic faculty remain undeveloped (lack of schooling) or harmed (concussion etc).

So the main objection is that common people are not aware about the gross, everyday tales of athletes getting hurt, abused, and used. It happens on the field and off it.

So many gift athletes who committed a large part of their schooling to sports could not get success. Rather they were disregarded by teachers in school, promised the rainbow by coaches in the gym, and cheated by opportunistic agents on the street. Their lives became a seething mess and in the end they were left with an ailing body, no education, and zero self-esteem. This is the common tale - the one that nobody hears.

Instead people only think of the accolades given to stars.

Businesses and top capitalists earn huge money off of the talents of one player. In trying to find that star, those same capitalists destroy the lives of countless hopefuls. That is the bigger picture that everyone needs to be aware about.


Then there is the matter of gender: Up until the time of puberty girls and boys have quite similar physical capacities. Upon reaching puberty, females undergo changes that are vastly different from their male counterparts. Their physical prowess decreases and they can no longer run as fast as they once could.

Baba describes this phenomenon in His discourses on bio-psychology.

Yet still women aim to compete in sports designed for men. That is why in sports like basketball, football (soccer), and hockey etc, females experience a huge number of injuries. Even though they are competing against other women - not men - their bodies cannot endure the punishment of those games. In particular, women suffer from an excessive number of broken bones, as well as a high degree of ligament damage.

Yet in this capitalist, male-dominated system, young females are encouraged and pushed to excel in sports, leaving many young ladies with life compromising injuries and scars.


Parents and guardians should understand the situation and what is at stake; furthermore they should educate and warn impressionable youths. Everyone - especially students - should be poignantly aware of the vast numbers of people who get seriously hurt in athletics. They become physically disabled and even mentally compromised such as when a concussion ruins a person's ability to concentrate.

Once people are fully aware of all the ramifications, then they can make more educated and responsible choices with regards to athletics.

It is when people ignore this problem and the mass media only propagates the glories that youths get a terribly skewed impression about sports and athletics. Then they think it is only about making money and being a star.

The advertisers and corporate giants feed into this frenzy in order to make millions and billions from sports. At present in the US, sports is a mega-billion dollar enterprise where TV rights and contracts are astronomical. There is huge, huge money to be made. So the powers-that-be cover up the dark side in order to breed more star athletes. Yet in that process so many innocent and idealistic youths crash and burn - left to fend for themselves with no one cheering them on.

It is like the lottery. On TV they only announce the lottery winner and do not tell the story of the many masses of people who waste their money on the lottery. They do not depict those losers, disappointments, and suicides. That dark tale is not told. Sports follows this same pattern.

So a lot of education is needed so youths can learn the many pitfalls, dangers, and deaths that occur when common people compete in sports and competitive games.

Finally, for safe exercises, Baba has given kaoshikii, tandava and asanas. In those exercises there is little chance of injury, and huge expression for physical, psychic and spiritual development. 

Please read the following article about the dangers of sports - we should all be aware.



The only dark tale that does come to the fore is that of steroid. But even then they only label those users as cheaters. Rarely do they highlight the health issues. Thus, many a person takes steroids in hopes of never getting caught, totally unaware of the many health hazards and risks involved.

Sport Injuries

Note: The article appears in full below but if you visit the above link then you can see all kinds of pictures and photos that graphically display the risks involved in sports.

We are all urged to exercise in order to keep fit and to avoid getting fat. Sports seem like a fun way of burning extra calories to lose weight, but according to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report, sports injuries among baby boomers increased by 33 percent from 1991 to 1998.[1]  There were about 276,000 hospital emergency room-treated injuries to persons 35 to 54 in 1991 compared to more than 365,000 sports injuries to persons of these ages in 1998. The number of injuries keeps increasing every year. In 2006, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) reported over half a million injuries just for basketball. Another two million injuries were associated with bicycling, football, other sports.[2] The increase in injuries has also made doctors and RN's much busier which has sparked an increase in the need for CNA training across the country.

Baby boomers suffered more that 1 million sports injuries which cost over $18.7 billion Dollars in medical expenses in 1998. The highest numbers of sports-related injuries came from bicycling, basketball, baseball, and running.

The largest number of deaths were associated with head injuries while riding a bicycle. Most of these injuries resulted from accidents with motor vehicles due to heavy traffic, poor visibility, or failure to obey traffic regulations. Drowning while swimming was the next most common cause of death, followed by skiing accidents. Swimming where there is no lifeguard increases the risk of drowning if a person should get a cramp, or have some other serious problem. Deaths from skiing accidents occur because of the high speeds involved and the inability to maneuver to avoid obstacles like trees or rocks. Sonny Bono, of Sonny and Cher fame, died of injuries after hitting a tree while skiing near Lake Tahoe, California. His death came just days after Michael Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy, died in a similar accident.

The prevalence of sport injuries in professional sports can be seen by just reading the sports pages of any newspaper, especially after the weekend games. Here is a sampling of the Washington Post for Tuesday, March 13, 2007:

    Caron Butler's value to the Washington Wizards was made obvious late last season when the team lost five straight games while he was out with a thumb injury on his right (shooting) hand and again after this season's all-star break when the team went 0-3 while he was out with lower back spasms.
      Butler said persistent stiffness in the left knee -- the same knee that required arthroscopic surgery in October 2003 and forced him to miss 13 games as a member of the Miami Heat season -- has robbed him of quickness and explosiveness and led him to play with uncharacteristic hesitancy.


    Washington Capitals' goaltender Brent Johnson left after the second period with a right knee injury. Johnson hurt himself while sprawling to stop Tkachuk's shot and was replaced by Frederic Cassivi at the start of the third period. Johnson will be reevaluated Tuesday. The Capitals don't play again until Thursday in Boston, where Olie Kolzig hopes to return from a sprained left knee.


    Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz was hit in the head by a pitch and taken to a hospital during the Rangers' 11-7 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers yesterday in Phoenix.
      Cruz was batting with the bases loaded in the sixth inning when he was hit on the helmet near an ear by a fastball from Yovani Gallardo.
      Cruz stayed on the ground for several minutes, then walked off on his own power. He had an indentation on the side of his face where his helmet had been and looked dazed as he walked to the visitor's clubhouse. He was coherent when he got in a car and was taken to the hospital.

    - Yankees: Carl Pavano last pitched in the majors on June 27, 2005, before being sidelined by shoulder, back, buttocks, elbow, and rib injuries.
    - Cardinals: Jason Isringhausen is set to make his spring training debut Thursday, right on schedule. The right-handed closer missed the World Series after hip surgery in September.
    - Padres: Greg Maddux was scratched from a scheduled start against the White Sox because of a mild lower abdominal strain.        
    As far as injuries are concerned, basketball is near the top of the list. The large number of injuries is due in part to the popularity of basketball, but the jumping and competitive aspects of the game cause the most damage. Players collide, hit (foul) each other, or fall and land improperly after jumping and they get hurt. Attempts to block the ball under the basket put the players in direct conflict without any protective equipment. Experienced players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar used goggles to avoid eye injuries.

    The 2009 season was particularly disastrous for the Portland Trail Blazers who had many players sidelined with serious injuries. Greg Oden broke his left kneecap after jumping to block a play. The rookie Patrick Mills injured a foot during training right after he was drafted. Nicolas Batum suffered a shoulder injury the previous year, and then re-injured it during the summer. When he started playing again, the cartilage in his shoulder tore and he had to have surgery. Travis Outlaw was lost for the year while recovering from a stress fracture in his foot. Martell Webster had a similar injury the previous year, and he re-broke the foot when he returned to play. Even the head coach, Nate McMillan, ruptured his Achilles' tendon during practice when he stepped in to fill gaps due to the shortage of players.

    The following table of injuries is based on 2006 data compiled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS).

Estimated Number
of Injuries
Sport and Type of Injury
529,837  Basketball - Cut hands, sprained ankles, broken legs, eye and forehead injuries.
490,434  Bicycling - Feet caught in spokes, head injuries from falls, slipping while carrying bicycles, collisions with cars.
460,210  Football - Fractured wrists, chipped teeth, neck strains, head lacerations, dislocated hips and jammed fingers.
275,123  ATVs, Mopeds, Minibikes - Riders of ATVs were frequently injured when they were thrown from vehicles. There were also fractured wrists, dislocated hands, shoulder sprains, head cuts and lumbar strains.
274,867  Baseball, Softball - Head injuries from bats and balls. Ankle injuries from running bases or sliding into them.
269,249  Exercise, Exercise Equipment - Twisted ankles and cut chins from tripping on treadmills. Head injuries from falling backward from exercise balls, ankle sprains from jumping rope.
186,544  Soccer - Twisted ankles or knees after falls, fractured arms during games.
164,607  Swimming - Head injuries from hitting the bottom of pools, and leg injuries from accidentally falling into pools.
96,119  Skiing, Snowboarding - Head injuries from falling, cut legs and faces, sprained knees or shoulders.
85,580  Lacrosse, Rugby, & other Ball Games - Head and facial cuts from getting hit by balls and sticks, injured ankles from falls.
Head Injuries can have long-term effects. Brain damage caused by concussions may result in strokes, paralysis, headaches or reduced concentration and mental clarity. A 2009 study commissioned by the National Football League reported that Alzheimer's disease or other similar memory-related diseases appear in the league's former players at 19 times the normal rate for men ages 30 through 49. Other studies have found that football players who suffered concussions were more likely to suffer from depression. In general, it is a good idea to avoid sports that expose the head to repeated impacts, such as boxing, soccer, and football.

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