Drew Brees knows he has a dangerous job. The record-setting quarterback of the New Orleans Saints is eager to make football safer at all levels. So he's teamed up with PACE (Protecting Athletes Through Concussion Education), a program that provides free concussion testing for more than 3,300 middle and high schools and youth sports organizations.
"Any time you can educate young kids and their parents, especially in regards to concussions and raise awareness, is vital," Brees says. "It's helping them to understand the symptoms and the treatments for concussions and the baseline tests, how you would test to see if someone did have a concussion, making a comparison to the baseline testing such as in the PACE program.
"Every young athlete playing in some physical sport should certainly have the opportunity to take the ImPACT baseline tests."
Brees will headline a panel discussion on the topic Tuesday, joined by former U.S. national goalkeeper Briana Scurry, an Olympic and World Cup champion; Mike Richter, the goalie when the New York Rangers won the 1994 Stanley Cup; and former New York Giants linebacker Carl Banks.
Scurry and Richter both retired in great part due to concussions. Banks has suffered from concussions, and his son recently got a concussion when he was hit by an elbow in a basketball game.