(Boston) – 2013 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) MVP Kevin Crowley, All-Star goalie Tyler Fiorito and 11 other Major League Lacrosse players have pledged to donate their brains to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, comprising the largest group of active professional athletes in a single sport to make the pledge.
The announcement comes as part of the first ever MLL Concussion Awareness Week, which is being hosted this week by Major League Lacrosse and the Concussion Legacy Foundation to raise awareness of the seriousness of concussions.
During the week MLL players are sharing messaging focused on the importance of resting after concussions, self-reporting concussion symptoms, as well as the important responsibility teammates have to report to a coach when they think they see concussion signs in a teammate.
“I’m proud to participate in Concussion Awareness Week and make the pledge to donate my brain, and I encourage others to do the same so together we can accelerate research on sports concussions,” said Crowley, who was both the MLL MVP and All-Star Game MVP in 2013. “In addition, as a youth coach, I am excited to help spread positive educational messaging around concussion to ensure a better, safer experience for the next generation of lacrosse players.”
Concussion Awareness Week will be celebrated at five different MLL home stadiums this week. Additionally, the Concussion Legacy Foundation is providing concussion education presentations for each MLL team throughout the season.
“Through our work with Major League Lacrosse, our goal is to facilitate continued improvement in concussion prevention, diagnosis and management, as well as use MLL’s platform to set an example of best practices for youth sports,” said Chris Nowinski, co-founder and president of the Concussion Legacy Foundation. “We still have much to learn regarding the consequences of brain trauma in all sports, and we appreciate MLL’s leadership and proactive efforts to educate and protect its players.”
The MLL players pledging their brains join a lengthy list of 2016 pledges, which includes soccer icon Brandi Chastain, Olympic gold medalist Nancy Hogshead-Makar, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald and former Oakland Raiders George Atkinson, George Buehler, Art Thoms and Phil Villapiano. Chastain, Hogshead-Makar and the former Raiders players pledged as part of the Foundation’s My Legacy campaign, which encourages athletes to leave their legacy by helping solve the concussion crisis through brain donation or other means.
The Concussion Legacy Foundation collaborates with the VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University (BU) on the VA-BU-CLF brain bank, where donated brains are studied. It is now the largest sports mTBI and CTE repository in the world with over 340 brains donated, over a thousand more pledged, and more than 200 cases of CTE identified.
Those interested in pledging can do so at https://concussionfoundation.org/get-involved/research-registry.