NFL Health Update: League to be recognized by Brain Injury Alliance



The NFL will be recognized this weekend at the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington's annual gala. This year's event will celebrate passage of Youth Sports Concussion laws in all 50 states. Commissioner Roger Goodell will be accept the organization's 2014 Leadership Award on behalf of the NFL. The event's Honorary Chair this year is Seattle Seahawks President Peter McLoughlin.

The youth concussion laws were inspired by Zackery Lystedt who, in 2006, suffered a brain injury following his return to a middle school football game after sustaining a concussion. Zackery, his family and a broad range of medical, business and community partners, including the NFL, lobbied the Washington state legislature for a law to better protect young athletes in all sports.

In May 2010, Commissioner Goodell sent letters to governors of 44 states that did not have concussion laws urging them to pass a law similar to the Lystedt Law and pledged the NFL would advocate for the laws until every state had one. In the letter, Commissioner Goodell said sports and political leaders can help raise awareness of concussions while ensuring proper and effective treatment. The NFL and its 32 clubs actively advocated for the passage of youth concussion laws throughout the country.


New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft joined the Patriots Women's Association and Patriots Cheerleaders in making a recent visit to the Women's Lunch Place in Boston, a daytime shelter for women who are experiencing homelessness or poverty.

During the visit, the Patriots group cooked meals and led arts and crafts projects. They also donated boxes of personal care products, Patriots gift bags and clothes for the facility's Dress for Success program.

Talking to the women at the facility Mr. Kraft said, "This was one of my wife's favorite places. She felt great love and a sense of family here. ... You all should have great pride and feel great that this community cares about you and wants to help every way they can."

Before the visit ended, Mr. Kraft on behalf of the Kraft family and New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, made a donation to support the Women's Lunch Place's upcoming gala.


DeMarcus Ware and Broncos teammates Kenny Anunike, Marvin Austin Jr., Ben Garland, Steven Johnson, and Juwan Thompson recently visited the Denver Broncos Boys and Girls Club. The Broncos played games, practiced their basketball skills and spent time with the children at the Club.

Ware, who organized the outing, plans to continue working with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver and serve as a mentor to the children.

"You never know how far they (the kids) can go," Ware said. "They could be the next president, the next doctor that's fixing one of us, you never know."

Following the club visit, Ware invited 40 kids from the club to attend an advanced screening of the movie Annie that night along with his teammates.


The Washington Redskins and Coca-Cola joined forces to host two events this month -- the 4th & Life High School Football Forum and the Get the Ball Rolling Flag Football experience. An annual event, 4th & Life focuses on preparing area high school student-athletes for life after football. Redskins players Darrel Young, Tyler Polumbus, Akeem Davis and Niles Paul participated in a panel discussion with nearly 200 students, focusing on topics including peer pressure, staying healthy and transitioning from high school to college. Students then took part in breakout sessions led by Redskins players and a representative from Junior Achievement of Greater Washington.

The Get the Ball Rolling Flag Football Experience served as a healthy lifestyle and fitness clinic to promote proper football technique, as well as proper nutrition. More than 100 middle schools students participated in warm-ups before kicking off four flag football games inside the Redskins indoor practice facility. Redskins players Keenan Robinson, Darrel Young, Niles Paul, David Amerson, Trenton Robinson, Will Compton, Akeem Davis and Shawn Lauvao served as quarterbacks for each of the teams. Following on-field activities, students gathered in the Redskins team meeting room to hear from panelists, including Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy and Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Ray Wright, on the importance of a healthy body and mind.


The Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Financial recently announced the South Florida recipients of the Sun Life Rising Star Awards and presented $220,000 in grants and scholarships to four nonprofit community organizations and an exemplary student nominated by each nonprofit.

This year's South Florida Sun Life Rising Star Awards recipients will also be honored at a special pre-game on-field ceremony and celebration at the Dolphins vs. Baltimore Ravens game at Sun Life Stadium on Dec. 7.

"These remarkable individuals and the nonprofit organizations that comprise this year's class of Sun Life Rising Star Award recipients inspire us all," said Dan Fishbein, president of Sun Life Financial U.S.

"We look forward to seeing the positive impact that the collective efforts of all our Rising Star recipients will have on their local communities and beyond."

-- NFL Communications

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