Knock-out concussion causes irreversible brain damage


2533 Carter, Charlie 1 seriousLETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – I wrote the following letter to the Advocate on April 14 after their puff piece on the “Desert dust up” or some such rubbish on April 13.
They didn’t publish it, not surprising, as the next issue, on April 17, had a feature spread, complete with pics of kids punching each other in the face.
They still haven’t published my letter. Here it is: On Friday your paper devoted several pages to the promotion of brain damage to the young people of Central Australia.
It is called boxing.
The prime objective, the holy grail of the activity (I refuse to call it sport) is the KO!
The Knock Out!
Which is a concussion. Which is a brain injury. Permanent. Irreversible.
All the contact sports, the Rugby codes, the AFL and others have recognised the blunt truth. And have introduced changes to try to prevent it. Concussion is permanent brain injury.
Repeated trauma without concussion, such as being punched in the head, also causes brain injury. Former players all over the world have come forward, and reported the dire consequences.
In the USA court proceedings have commenced (of course) by damaged American Football players, despite wearing helmets.
And yet we continue to have this activity. Young people attempting to brain damage their opponents.
I don’t get it !
And that is just the physical damage.
The other part of it is teaching young people that something can be won by punching someone else in the face.
Parents, medical professionals, sane people everywhere, it is time to ban this barbarism.
Dr. Charlie Carter
Alice Springs


  1. I wholeheartedly agree with your letter.
    I have often viewed the so called MMA cage fighting being aired at local pubs and clubs with a host of people watching and commenting.
    These is legalised and condoned thuggery and any medical professionals should be ashamed if they do not try and put a stop to this barbarism.
    Kids watch this “entertainment”.
    When the local area posted that a “Desert Dustup” was to be held I was horrified.
    The “sport” of boxing should be banned from the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.

  2. It is not the sport that is at fault but the attitude of the coaches and the expectations of the public.
    Boxing, like any sport, can be perverted from a thing of speed and grace to plain brutal punishment.
    I do not follow boxing and I gave up watching football years back because of the acceptance of personal violence on the field.
    This attitude of smashing heads needs to change but not at the cost of removing sports.
    Do not confuse boxing with prize fighting and some of the later free for all cage fighting.

  3. Boxing has a long Olympic Games tradition that gets around the problem of the KO.
    Athletes wear protective head gear, get specific points for certain punches and are monitored closely by the ref.
    The moment that the ref thinks an opponent cannot properly defend himself or herself, e.g. has difficulty keeping hands up, the fight is over. Three rounds makes it an art of self defence, not a 12 round slugfest.
    Professional boxing is different. Chalk and cheese. But it is what people want.
    Kostya Tszu epitomised the absolutely magnificent athletes that these pro warriors of the ring actually are.
    It is the trainer who brings respectability to the contest.
    Johnny Lewis agreed to coach Kostya on one condition only … that it was the trainer’s right to stop the fight if he judged that Kostya would get too hurt if he continued.
    Against Ricky Hatton in Manchester, at the end of the 11th round, Johnny did just that, even though the fighters could not be separated on points. Kostya was really dirty on Johnny for a day or so afterwards. But his family thanked Johnny.
    We should be targeting UFC, not boxing.
    It is disgusting thuggeey that promotes street violence. You can see the difference in the fans it attracts every Sunday arvo at the Olympic Hotel. Appalling and un-Australian.

  4. In Central Australia, drugs and alcohol cause the most non reversible brain injury, including resulting domestic king hits and car crashes.
    There is a school of thought that boxing is a mug’s game. However, otherwise lethargic and traumatised youth have gained self-respect and self-control in a belonging context of controlled community, where they learn their own limits and become mugs no longer.
    I would argue that bloody cage bouts are ghoulish and pointless but boxing has a respected and distict safe place for some people.

  5. @ Howard Davies: Howard is on the money. Boxing is the art of self defence. It gives troubled kids a sense of discipline and self worth.
    Police latched on to this as a social rehab tool many years ago. Police Boys Clubs flourished. The anti-boxing brigade should spend a week or a month in a sawdust gym. Kids learn to take a whack on the nose without getting angry. They learn to defend themselves. And you can see them grow. Jamesy Swan is the perfect example of the benefits of this art.
    Just ask old Fred. And GK Ross. The Gap gym. I think the anti-boxing brigade would get something really positive to think about.

  6. @John Bell: “Kids learn to take a whack on the nose without getting angry.”
    John, why should kids be getting “a whack on the nose?”
    Probably because they are in the process of trying to whack someone else on the nose.
    Neither of which is desirable.
    “Athletes wear protective head gear.”
    The face is a surface of the head. The headgear does not cover the face. The pictures I referred to clearly show punches to the face.
    “Boxing is the art of self defence.”
    Try talking, or walking away.
    Or turning the other cheek, if you profess Christianity.
    “It gives troubled kids a sense of discipline and self worth.”
    Evidence ?
    Try reading, learning, and helping others as as alternative.


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