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Chris Nowinski: WWE Has Enlightened Approach To Concussions

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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.

In this video, Chris praises World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) for its approach to managing concussions among its athletes. Recognizing that WWE provides scripted entertainment, as opposed to competitive sport, there is less pressure to return to action from a concussion to pursue winning. Still, it is notable how much WWE values its athletes' health and their ability to generate long-term gain as individuals for the enterprise as a whole.