13 MLL Players Donate Their Brains to Science

Last week was Major League Lacrosse’s Concussion Awareness Week.  Hundreds of athletes have suffered a concussion at some point during their careers, a fair share coming from lacrosse.

“I was speaking gibberish…I was saying all I wanted to do was eat a large pizza and have a bath.”

-Kevin Crowley, Midfielder for the Charlotte Hounds (MLL)

“In college, one of the other goalies on my team, when I was a sophomore, got two concussions and had to take the year off.  My senior year, my college roommate had concussion symptoms as well. It impacted his life greatly, being able to concentrate and sitting in a dark room.”

-Tyler Fiorito, Goalie for the Boston Cannons (MLL)

Most lacrosse players have either seen or experienced the harsh effects of a concussion, so some major league players have decided to do something about it.

So, in honor of Concussion Awareness Week, Crowley and Fiorito are 2 of 13 MLL players that pledged to donate their brains to the Concussion Legacy Foundation for research, supposedly the “largest group of active professional athletes in a single sport to make the pledge.”

“The idea of Concussion Awareness Week was to put out positive messaging to the lacrosse community about enjoying lacrosse your entire life.  The 13 players showed their dedication. They raised awareness the entire week for making that pledge.”

-Chris Nowinski, Co-founder and president of the Concussion Legacy Foundation

Although most would hesitate at the thought of donating their brain in the name of science, it took little convincing for both Crowley and Fiorito to jump on board.

“It’s something I had to think about, but you never really think about it at 27 years old. It seemed so out there. It’s just one of those funny things, I was like, ‘I guess I won’t need it when I’m gone.’ It’s a serious issue, and I wanted to help anyway I could. Pledging my brain was a way I could do that. Hopefully the long-term impact can save lives down the road.”

-Kevin Crowley

“The sport has given me so much throughout my life, and I just want to give back.  If I can make it a little safer, if I can leave a legacy greater than my time on the field, than I’m for it. When they asked us to pledge I didn’t have reservations. I filled it out quickly.”

-Tyler Fiorito

All parties involved in the MLL Concussion Awareness Week hope that the education surpasses a mere 7 days.  The Concussion Legacy Foundation urges that players self-report their concussions, keep an eye on their teammates, and simply put, just take care of their heads.

“You can’t get to the pros unless you take care of your head when you’re younger. It’s not the time to be a hero when you’re 13. You still have a lot of lacrosse in front of you.”

-Chris Nowinski

What are some ways that YOU can help spread concussion awareness?  Click the title to comment.

From humble beginnings in upstate New York, Nicole spent her childhood in her driveway with a stick in hand learning how to catch and throw a lacrosse ball. Her hard work and love for the game landed her at Hamilton College where she currently plays for a nationally ranked Division III Women’s Lacrosse program, coached by Patty Kloidt. Nicole hopes to instill her lax-addiction in young athletes and inspire them to pursue their dream of playing college lacrosse.

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