Within a few hours, his words spread around the world. Ryan Jones is a World Rugby memorial, former Wales captain, third line of 75 games with the Dragons, 3 games with the British and Irish Lions. The third line, never fear. In recent days he gave an interview that shook the oval ball world from the ground up. The argument is one that risks changing the rules of the game forever: concussion, concussion.
Jones spoke to the Sunday Times about what is happening to him, a story that is as exciting as it is touching. “I have been diagnosed with early dementia and I am afraid: I feel like my world is collapsing. I have three children and three “step-sons”: I would like to try to be a great father.”
The captain is clear: “I don’t know what the future holds for me. I lived 15 years as a superhero, although I wasn’t. I always used to live with people, make a group, and now I can’t do any of this. I just want to live A quiet life “.
Jones has some clues as to what is happening to him. “Something has been taken away from me and I can do nothing about it. I can no longer train and I can no longer be a referee for children’s matches when they play rugby, because at some moments I don’t remember the rules of the game.”
It is very easy to understand how the problem relates to the trauma players have experienced during their careers, as long as in Jones’ case. The incidence of these diseases in former rugby players is very high and stricter regulation has long been called for. The same spirit of the game is at stake.
“My future is uncertain, these moments of forgetting I don’t know how long they last, sometimes a week or two or three weeks and I don’t know how and how far the disease has progressed. Now the fear is inside me, I can no longer get rid of it.”
Jones fought and won many opponents. But that’s really hard to tear down. “Everything became difficult, from the everyday little things to dealing with people in relationships. I would like to understand how to slow down the disease, but it cannot be done.”
He finally concluded: “I will never trade my experience with Wales for what happened to me. I don’t know if what is happening to me is related to the trauma I experienced while playing, but rugby in general should do more to protect players by increasing preventive measures. Often The situation is catastrophic after stopping play, the associations should not take their eyes off these things.”
The problem is very serious. Millions of compensation are at risk but that’s the least of the problems. Treatments for these forms of dementia are very expensive and through the channel they are starting to address the problem head on. The goalkeeper a few days ago crushed in the goal.
For some time, according to the English newspaper, some veteran players sued, regardless of responsibility. The best-case scenario is that the diagnoses made for potential CTE players are wrong. The brain damage they suffered cannot be denied, but are the resulting conditions degenerative? Will they die for them? ”
In England, another news item sparked a lot of debate. Dr Adam White, Executive Director of the Concussion Legacy Foundation (UK), has conducted research on the experience of families affected by CTE on both sides of the Atlantic. Doctors have diagnosed major forms of CTE in athletes under the age of 20.
Rugby’s governing bodies should start allocating funds to help players affected by the terrible encephalopathy right now. Before it’s too late. Not everyone will be able to afford the expenses on their own. The speech is clear. An answer must be given. To Jones, who just wants to be a good father, and to all fans of this extraordinary sport.
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