The Baltimore Ravens have joined efforts with MedStar Sports Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a public safety campaign to address concussion awareness and prevention.
Maryland House Bill (HB) 858 and Senate Bill (SB) 771 – groundbreaking legislation to protect student-athletes from the dangerous effects of concussions – were signed into law by Governor Martin O'Malley in July 2011. Maryland became the 18th state to enact such legislation in the United States.
HB 858 and SB 771 provide protections for student-athletes who are suspected of incurring a concussion during practice or play. Any such individual will be removed from activity and returned only after clearance by an appropriate licensed health care professional. The legislation also calls for the Maryland State Department of Education to implement concussion awareness programs for coaches, school personnel, student-athletes and parents/guardians. Students and their parents/guardians must also sign a concussion information sheet before participating in any sport. This applies to sports played on public school and Parks & Recreation lands.
As part of these joint efforts and to support State legislation:
- The Ravens and MedStar Sports Medicine have co-branded established CDC materials (fact sheets for coaches, parents and athletes) and have distributed these "clipboard" packets to more than 150 area youth, high school football coaches and athletic directors across the Ravens' footprint.
- The Ravens have also entered into a formal multi-year partnership with the MedStar Sports Medicine Concussion Program and will provide a $25,000 grant to MedStar Sports Medicine each year for five-consecutive years. Funding will support the program's community outreach and baseline testing, and it will subsidize the testing costs of student-athletes in the area.
- The Ravens and MedStar Sports Medicine have also created a public service announcement (PSA) featuring LB Jameel McClain and head team physician Andrew Tucker, MD. The PSA focuses on concussion awareness and prevention.
Ravens & Youth Football
This Ravens' partnership with MedStar Sports Medicine is an extension of the team's commitment to enhancing the quality of youth football and promoting the safety of young athletes in all sports. Over the past few years, the organization has supported youth football through the donation of new uniforms to 18 Baltimore City public high schools (Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and LB Ray Lewis added new helmets) and the $1 million renovations of the stadiums/fields at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and Mervo High School.
On an annual basis, the Ravens contribute more than 800 cleats to area football programs, donate weight-training equipment, host clinics for youth football coaches and recognize area high school coaches through the Ravens Coach of the Week program. The team also hosts flag football clinics for local youth, showcases high school quarterbacks in the QB Challenge halftime passing competition at home games and provides close to $100,000 in grant funding each year to nonprofits that promote physical fitness/nutrition education.