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Chris Nowinski: Playing Fast And Loose With Concussions Can Ruin Lives

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Christopher Nowinski (@ChrisNowinski1) is the co-founder and executive director of the Concussion Legacy Foundation (formerly Sports Legacy Institute), a non-profit organization dedicated to solving the sports concussion crisis, and a co-founder and investigator and the Boston University CTE Center, where he is also a PhD candidate in Behavioral Neuroscience.

Nowinski also serves on the NFL Players Association Mackey-White TBI Research Committee, the Ivy League Concussion Committee, and as a consultant to Major League Lacrosse. A former Harvard football player and WWE professional wrestler, Nowinski was forced to retire from a series of concussions in 2003. His challenging recovery from post-concussion syndrome led him to write the critically-acclaimed book Head Games in an effort to educate parents, coaches, and children about this previously hidden public health issue. The book later inspired an award-winning documentary of the same name in 2012.

Chris warns parents that no matter their goals, or their children's goals, in sports brain health must come first. Whether aiming for a scholarship or a pro career, trying to play through concussions will not only derail those dreams, but possibly the child's entire life. "You may never see that same kid again," he says.