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NASCAR Cup Series

Keselowski Offers Concussion Opinion with Twitter Discussion

Brad Keselowski has never been shy about offering his opinion and last week was no different.

This time the 2012 Sprint Cup Series champion offered his view on the medical side of sports after news broke surrounding Will Power missing the season opener for the Verizon IndyCar Series due to a concussion.

It was released about 48 hours later that Power did not suffer a concussion and was given a misdiagnosis due to an inner-ear issue.

POPULAR OPEN WHEEL: Will Power Cleared to Return to Racing

During the media conference, IndyCar Safety Consultant Dr. Terry Trammell and Retired Former Director of the Neurocritical Care Unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami Dr. Stephen Olvey were asked about Keselowski’s comments.

Dr. Olvey says the lack of understanding comes from the fact that 12 to 15 years ago, concussions weren’t considered severe injuries. That is something that has changed in recent years, though, due to learning that too many concussions or too many too soon can lead to other issues.

Dr. Olvey went on to say the lack of understanding comes from the fact some still believe you need to be hit on the head to have a concussion, which isn’t true. It is for that reason that until there’s an understanding across the board, there will be critics of the scenario at hand.

“It has to be a conscious thing and a conscious awareness around team members,” he said. “I mean, even in motorsports. If a crew member or the car owner or the chief principal thinks the driver is not acting quite right after an incident or is just a little bit strange, as Terry said, you need to err on the side of being conservative, and they need to be brought in and given an exam.

“And if it leads to what happened with Will, even though the symptoms were due to something other than a concussion, you still have to go through that process because a concussion is very serious.”

Keselowski was asked at Auto Club Speedway about his Twitter comments, stating that he recognizes a lot of people have given him flak due to having an opinion.

“Apparently unless you have and MD behind your name you’re not allowed to have an opinion on that topic is a lot of people’s thoughts, but I don’t feel that way,” he said. “I think it directly affects me, and it directly affects a lot of other people in this sport, and it’s a very, very complicated topic – one that is developing. It’s developing not just here in this community, but across sport communities worldwide. I was really disappointed to hear about the things that happened last week with my Indy Car teammate Will Power.

“I think that’s maybe the definition of worst-case scenario and shows that there’s a lot of work to be done. As to how to get there, there are a lot of ideas. I have a few of them, but I don’t know if they would really fit in this context, so I’ll probably save those for a little while, but I think it’s something that the whole industry can rally behind as being a focal point for the future of not just our sport but all sports.”

When the story broke surrounding Power’s misdiagnosis, POPULAR OPEN WHEEL’s Tony Johns released a column, stating there needs to be more understanding surrounding concussions.

The article received an opinion from Keselowski, resulting in a conversation back-and-forth on Twitter between the driver and Johns. The full set of tweets can be read below.

Tonytweets

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By Ashley McCubbin

Currently the Executive Editor for Popular Speed, Ashley McCubbin also runs Short Track Musings, while handling media relations for OSCAAR. Currently living in Bradford, Ontario, she spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area taking photos.