A former CFL player and BC Lions star says new technology is only part of the solution to the concussion epidemic in sports.
Angus Reid is part of the team touting a new breakthrough technology that could have a massive impact in the fight to protect players brains.
The SFU-developed Brain Shield is a thin, multi-layered decal that works by shifting impact on a player’s helmet, stopping the player’s head and brain from twisting inside.
Speaking on the Weekend Afternoon Show with Shane Foxman, Reid says the solution is so simple, he’s sure it will catch on.
“It looks the exact same, so you haven’t changed the optics of the game – you haven’t even changed the helmet. You just put on a different sticker.”
But Reid says technology can only go so far towards solving the problem.
He says another part of the problem is that many sports of have evolved from contact sports to “collision sports,” with players using their equipment aggressively.
“I think it’s a major mindshift that has to be taught to athletes, that this equipment is here to protect you, it’s not here to be part of a weapon that’s to be used for added violence in a game, contact with your body is plenty.”
Reid says that cultural change needs to start young, and he says one way to do that is to have kids practice without the equipment
“You put the equipment on as a final touch, and I always liken it to a seatbelt in a car. You wear it every single time hoping never to having to use it, and you have it on in case something happens. And I think that’s been replaced in the mindset now that you have a helmet, and you have these shoulder pads so you might as well use them. We need to pull back again and teach the sport the way it needs to be played.”