Soccer players are often ignorant of head injury risks, and managers should improve concussion protocols, says former Tottenham Hotspur and Hull City midfielder Ryan Mason, who was forced to retire early in 2017 after fracturing his skull.
Mason’s comments come in the wake of the fatal head clash between Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Raúl Jiménez and Arsenal player David Luiz in the Premier League this past weekend.
Jiménez underwent surgery on a skull fracture, while Arsenal received harsh criticism for allowing David Luiz to continue playing with his head bandaged before being substituted at halftime.
Mason, who retired at the age of 26 after fracturing his skull in a head collision with Gary Cahill, has called for changes to the risk faced by footballers. “We live in a world with men who want to be brave,” he told Sky Sports. “That is the football industry and we are probably a little guilty of that, if I’m honest. I was very close to losing my life on a soccer field due to an incident that was very similar ”.
Mason said managers should be encouraged to sanction players who face dangerous aerial challenges. “(David Luiz’s challenge) came late and was behind. If on the court with a knee or an ankle it would be a yellow card .. ”. “We have a responsibility as professionals to punish dangerous gambling.”