On Thursday, Doug Roberson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Eric Remedi had no memory of the game against the New England Revolution.
Remedi collided with Luis Caicedo, requiring attention from the medical staff before eventually returning to the game. He didn’t last long as he was subbed off in the 15th minute (about 10 minutes after the incident) after sitting down on the turf, the universal sign that something was wrong.
With Roberson’s report revealing that the midfielder’s memory from that game is blank, it’s safe to say that Remedi should have never been allowed to return to the game. The story comes days after Tottenham Hotspurs’ Jan Vertonghen suffered a head injury and was allowed to continue before he had to be assisted off the field, prompting yet another discussion about how soccer treats head injuries.
In the days after the New England game, Remedi did enter the concussion protocol and only returned last week against the Colorado Rapids. If Remedi spent roughly two weeks in the concussion protocol and has no memory of the New England game, then why was he allowed to return to the game initially?
As we saw in midweek in the Tottenham game and in Atlanta’s game against New England, head injuries aren’t being taken seriously enough throughout soccer. If players are being allowed to return to the field before stumbling to the turf or losing partial memory, it’s time that leagues and teams must reassess their concussion protocols.
The safety of the players should be the number one priority and they are continuously put in danger when allowed to return so soon after a head injury. Remedi’s inability to remember a game in which he suffered a serious head injury is terrifying, because it’s not the first time it has happened to a player and it won’t be the last.
Contact in soccer is inevitable and it is never going to change, but the governing bodies in the sport can do so much better to protect the players. Even if they have to be held out of games longer to wait for symptoms of a concussions, so be it. It’s time we take head injuries seriously, especially when loss of memory plays a role.