National youth sports governing bodies join Team Up Day; sports icons release video to rally support

Monday, September 12, 2016

2016 Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee Eric Lindros, women’s soccer stars Cindy Parlow Cone & Stephanie McCaffrey, and Harvard University head football and basketball coaches Tim Murphy and Tommy Amaker ask others to join them in supporting Team Up Day

(Boston) – In a video released Friday, 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Eric Lindros, World Cup Champion Cindy Parlow Cone, professional soccer player Stephanie McCaffrey, Harvard University head football coach Tim Murphy and Harvard University head basketball coach Tommy Amaker pledged their support for the Concussion Legacy Foundation’s Team Up Day initiative and asked other coaches, athletes and parents to do the same.

Team Up Day is tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 13, and asks coaches, captains and medical teams to Team Up & Speak Up to Fight Concussions by giving a speech to their athletes stressing that a good teammate looks out for concussions in their teammates and has a responsibility to speak up to a coach if they suspect their teammate has a concussion.

The message is inspired by a speech found buried in the 1905 diary of Harvard Football coach Bill Reid. Coach Reid discusses how the team doctor gave a speech before the season to the team in which he said: “in case any man in any game gets hurt by a hit on the head so that he does not realize what he is doing, his teammate should at once insist that time be called and that a doctor come onto the field to see what is the trouble.” The annual ritual of this speech has been lost to history, and the first ever Team Up Day will begin the process of bringing it back.

Organizations representing over 2 million athletes have now signed on to Team Up Day. Recent additions to the growing list include USA Hockey, USA Football, the Ivy League, the National Federation of State High School Associations, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, California Interscholastic Federation, Illinois High School Association, Massachusetts Hockey, USA Rugby, American Hockey Coaches Association, Positive Coaching Alliance, and dozens of other organizations.

“Changing the culture comes down to strong leadership, and we’re excited to have such prominent coaches and athletes who have been team captains helping us redefine how a good teammate approaches concussions,” said Chris Nowinski, co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation.

Organizations can sign up at TeamUpDay.org. A video released last week showed a great example of how to give the Team Up Day speech from Duxbury High School football coach Dave Maimaron. Participants are encouraged to share these videos and join the conversation on social media using #TeamUpSpeakUp.

Lindros, who played 15 years in the NHL and was a 7-time All-Star, is a member of the 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame class. He suffered multiple concussions during his playing career and has been vocal both as a player and since his retirement about the need for concussion awareness. Parlow-Cone, one of the most decorated soccer players in U.S. history, was forced to retire due to concussions and battles post-concussion symptoms to this day. The World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist is now a youth soccer coach.

Occupying the same position as Coach Bill Reid did 111 years ago, Murphy is beginning his 23rd season as Harvard’s football coach and has led the program to nine Ivy League championships and three unbeaten, untied seasons during his tenure. In his nine seasons as Harvard’s head basketball coach, Amaker has led the team to four NCAA tournament appearances, five Ivy League championships and six 20-win seasons. Amaker started at point guard all four of his years playing at Duke, and was a national champion in 1986 and an All-American in 1987.

A Massachusetts native, McCaffrey was a standout soccer player at Boston College before becoming the No. 5 overall pick in the 2015 National Women’s Soccer league draft. She made 17 starts for the Boston Breakers in 2015 before being traded to the Chicago Red Stars in July.

Organizations can send their logo to Tyler Maland at tmaland@concussionfoundation.org to be listed as a supporter.

 

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