Athletes Health, Concussions and its Impact on the Athletes and Families Seminar
What an informative and inspiring event was held this past Saturday, August 27, 2016 at the legendary Vision Theater in Leimert Park Los Angeles, California. The speakers brought passion and a desire to share their broad spectrum of knowledge with the audience. The audience was engaged and full of relevant and thought provoking questions. I came away better informed and with a sense of empowerment after the event. The old adage “knowledge is power” rang true on that day.
Longtime sports guru and mega sports agent Leigh Steinberg shared interesting real life stories and gave his insight into the concussion issue for the professional athlete and youth football. Super bowl Champion and co-founder of the NFL Players Congress Bob Grant was passionate and informative about a wide range of issues related to the plight of the professional athlete. Dr. Harold Kraft aka the “Pain Doctor” introduced us to his research and innovative new laser treatment for brain related impairments. He is working on the development of a clinical trial for former professional athletes and military veterans with brain related issues.
Brandi Winans wife of deceased NFL player Jeff Winans, author and founder of Pro Athletes Transitions gave a heart wrenching presentation about the plight of NFL families and the affect of concussions and related issues on families. Not a dry eye was left in the house after her presentation. Michael Linden, Ph.D., Director of the- Linden Attention Learning Center who works closely with former NFL player Fred Willis of HPN Neurolog discussed his treatment for former professional athletes.
Attorney CeJai Taylor one of the few female football coaches in the nation and the mother of two D-1 football student athletes helped connect the issues related to current high school and youth football. She has helped 150 inner-city youth get football scholarships to the tune of $ 45,000,000. Attorney Chad Jones of the Chad Jones Law Group based in Mississippi helped to clarify issues related to the NFL’s Concussion Settlement agreement. He provided some real world perspective on the reality of the proposed agreement.
Chris Ward Ph. D, Former NFL All-Pro gave his insight and perspective as a former player on the issues at hand. He also discussed some business opportunities for former professional athletes though his nonprofit Commerce with a Cause. Kamala Nellen, owner of Coaching for Champions, a consulting firm for professional and elite athletes helped to shed light on mental exercises that can help athletes and former athletes have a better quality of life.
The audience flew in from around the country including North Carolina, Colorado, Florida, Mississippi, Hawaii and other areas. It was a wide spectrum of stake holder’s including a cross generational mix of former NFL players, National Champion Clint Jones, Eric King, Mr. Lynn and Mrs. Lisa Cain, Tony King and others. Youth football was represented and community activist were in the house as well. The break conversations were at times intense and yet infused with new knowledge. Everyone raved about the importance of the discussions and the issues many former professional football players and families face. Everyone walked away a little more informed and some business connections were developed as well. Oh, the power of face to face interaction is still so important in this era of technology.
The NFL Players Association contacted two of the scheduled speakers and pressured then into not speaking. I guess with the looming Concussion Settlement agreement the lawyers pulled the plug. Wonder what they have to hide? My grandmother once told me “be wary of people, who act like they have something to hide, they probably do.” Condolences are in order for Rick Darnell, President of the LA Chapter of NBA Legends and the NBA former Players Chapter who’s mother passed away on Thursday, our hearts were heavy for him and his family.
What a great day of camaraderie and sharing of knowledge. We all look forward to the same types of interactions in Dallas in October and South Florida in early December. Contact Pat Dane for information on sponsorship of the research study by Dr. Kraft at 910-547-0002. For Sponsorship of the remaining schedule of events this year contact Miriam Glover 214-701-5352. “knowledge is power”
Reginald Grant, MSEd, former NFL player, Author
President Southern California Chapter NAAAA and
Board of Directors NAAAA