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How Toxic is Athlete Culture in 2018?

Posted in Uncategorized on October 25, 2018

Athlete culture refers to the atmosphere surrounding today’s amateur and professional athletes. Engaging in sports today doesn’t just involve teamwork or trying hard – instead, athleticism has taken on an entirely new culture. Unfortunately, this culture can be very toxic to some. Many athletes have suffered serious injuries over the last few years due to the growing competitiveness of the industry. Being an athlete in 2018 may come with major health and safety risks that past generations didn’t encounter.

If you believe you have an athlete-related injury case and would like to discuss the details with an experienced attorney, contact the Baltimore athlete representation attorneys of Murphy, Falcon & Murphy today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Sports-Related Hazing

In some schools, underground hazing plagues sports, their players, and sports-related fraternities. Hazing refers to any difficult, dangerous, or humiliating activity a group of students expect new players to complete before joining a sports team. Hazing activities can put students in dangerous situations that can endanger students’ lives. The most common hazing danger is alcohol.

Just recently, a defendant pleaded guilty to a hazing act that took the life of Penn State University student and high school football player Timothy Piazza. In this case, a fraternity gave Piazza 18 drinks in 82 minutes. Piazza fell several times, suffered a traumatic brain injury, and passed away from his injuries. Hazing is a prevalent issue amongst many fraternities and sororities, including those popular amongst student athletes.

Unsafe Coaching Habits

Coaches may give into pressure to beat competing teams no matter what it takes – resorting to dangerous and even unlawful coaching habits that can endanger players’ lives. The University of Maryland was the setting for one such scandal recently, when football player Jordan McNair passed away from heatstroke after a football workout.

Current players on the team and others close to the school’s athletics program allege that the head coach, Mr. DJ Durkin, has “fostered a culture of fear and intimidation” at the university. People are expressing particular concern over the strength and conditioning coach Mr. Durkin hired, Rick Court, and the way he conducts training sessions. Evidently, intimidating, belittling, verbally abusing, and humiliating players is common practice under the current coaches. After the death of Jordan McNair, the university has placed members of the sports staff on leave.

The incident that led to McNair overheating happened in late May, 2018. McNair and other players ran a series of 110-yard sprints in the heat of the midday, during a workout that started around 4:00 p.m. According to eyewitness reports, McNair began to show signs of extreme exhaustion and had trouble standing. He collapsed during the workout, experienced convulsions and a seizer, and went to a hospital, where he registered a body temperature of 106 degrees. McNair’s family lawyers (Murphy, Falcon & Murphy) believe the coaches didn’t act appropriately to the injury.

How to Deal With Toxic Athlete Culture

As a player or a parent, it’s important to recognize when extreme coaching practices cross the line into abuse and endangerment. Report your suspicions of unsafe coaching habits as soon as you notice them. Go to the school superintendent and describe your experiences. Reporting problems could prevent serious and fatal incidents, like the tragedy involving the University of Maryland player. Keep track of all information relating to an injury or death case during school sports for a potential civil claim later. Then, contact a lawyer.

Coaches who verbally abuse or berate players, throw items at players, push players too hard during workout or training sessions, or engage in other activities that don’t seem right should raise red flags to players and other onlookers. If you see something, say something. While it’s clear that some coaches are contributing to the toxicity of today’s athlete culture, others are working hard to protect players. Reporting dangerous practices such as hazing or improper coaching could save a life.