In a recent Associated Press survey, 23 out of 44 NFL players polled said they would try and hide concussion like symptoms in order to stay in the game.
"You want to continue to play. You're a competitor. You're not going to tell on yourself. There have been times I've been dinged, and they've taken my helmet from me, and ... I'd snatch my helmet back and get back on the field," Washington Redskins fullback Mike Sellers told the AP. "A lot of guys wouldn't say anything because a lot of guys wouldn't think anything during the game, until afterward, when they have a headache or they can't remember certain things."
The results of the survey come just days after a group of retired players have organized to sue the NFL, claiming they have long-term damage due to traumatic brain injuries sustained during their playing days. According to the plaintiffs, the league has known about the danger of concussions within the sport for decades and has not acted accordingly.
Concussion protocol and potential brain injuries have become a focal point of the 2011 NFL season as more fines than ever have been divvied out to players who make helmet-to-helmet tackles. The league, as well as the NFL Players Association have also looked into specific events where players received concussions and were allowed by coaches to return into the game.