Category Archives: Brain Injuries

Concussions, consequence and conscience: OU football great Rickey Dixon reflects on Hall of Fame career that’s killing him

Rickey Dixon barely dents the mattress. The only noise is the television softly playing gospel music and the humming of his ventilator. In a few hours, family and friends will surround Rickey to celebrate his life and athletic accomplishments at Wilmer-Hutchins High School. But first, I have an interview with the former All-American football player. Rickey’s Eyegaze — a tool that allows him to communicate through the direction of his eyes — is broken that day. So his son, RJ, and niece Micah, help Rickey answer my questions by holding a yellow sheet of paper in front of him with all 26 letters of the alphabet printed on it.


Water polo, a rough but increasingly popular sport in Illinois, searches for concussion solutions

Water polo changed Nathan Allen’s life for the better. The Palatine High School junior wasn’t much of an athlete when he was younger, but he found a place in a sport that, to the spectator, looks like a cross between a water ballet and a mugging. The physicality and competitiveness transformed him, and he now plans to join the Marine Corps after high school. It has been a great experience, save for one issue: He keeps getting hit in the head.


Hockey’s Next Head-Injury Reckoning

The National Hockey League is facing renewed scrutiny into the lasting consequences that violence in its sport has on players. On May 1, the league’s commissioner, Gary Bettman, appeared at Canadian Parliament to address questions about head and brain injuries in hockey—a topic of growing alarm among current and former players, but one that Bettman has frequently dismissed.