Football's curiously ignorant attitude to concussion persists, and has been seen in some of the reaction to the confirmation that Loris Karius suffered a concussion when he was slammed into the face by Sergio Ramos, minutes before he rolled the ball to Karim Benzema's feet to allow Madrid score their first goal.
A statement issued yesterday by head injury specialist Dr. Ross Zafonte of Massachusetts General Hospital confirmed that "after carefully reviewing game film and integrating a detailed history – including his reported present and immediate post-contact subjective symptoms – physical examination and objective metrics, we have concluded that Mr. Karius sustained a concussion during the match May 26, 2018".
Speaking on 5Live, Chris Sutton argued that the player and Liverpool should have kept the concussion under wraps.
It maybe would have been better to keep that to himself. What happened, happened. He stayed on the pitch. A concussion is a serious thing. I'm not saying he left himself open, but...it's a bit like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. He made two horrendous errors and I feel sorry for him. But I don't see the point in coming out with this. People will inevitably say he is using it as an excuse, and it may well be. But I think it should have been kept under wraps.
While some have done the inevitable and said that this is a kind of PR move by Karius and Liverpool, it's very important that the prevalence and dangers of concussion are openly talked about in football. That Karius' injury has been made public draws football's attention to a few facts about concussion, namely that 50% of these injuries don't appear as obvious concussions during games. In spite of the fact that Christoph Kramer cannot remember the World Cup final four years ago having been allowed to play on with a head injury, nothing in football has changed in relation to concussions.
Anything that forces football to confront these issues is a good thing.