(BLOG) -- Los Angeles Laker Metta World Peace was ejected from an NBA game Sunday after receiving a flagrant foul for hitting opposing player James Harden in the head with his elbow. The Lakers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 114-106 in a double overtime. Harden suffered a concussion. World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, later apologized via Twitter.
In the sport of football the New Orleans Saints recently made headlines when a bounty scandal that rewarded players for injuring opponents was revealed. These stories bring up many questions in the world of sports. Just how safe are sports on all levels and what is being done to protect athletes?
In the case of World Peace, the league not only ejected him from the game but he will most likely face a multi-game suspension. This punishment will affect the entire team because the playoffs begin on April 28. The injured player James Harden will have to complete a series of steps mandated by the NBA before he can return to the court for safety reasons.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made it very clear what he thought about the Saints bounty scandal. Head coach Sean Payton was suspended for a full year without pay. Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis and assistant head coach Joe Vitt were also suspended for a period of eight games. This situation continues to develop, but the message from the NFL is clearly safety first.
The dangers are not limited to professional sports. According to Safe Kids USA, over 3.5 million kids receive medical treatment for sports injuries every year. The CDC has even set up the Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports initiative to help parents, coaches and players prevent and respond to concussions. This week also happens to be National Safe Kids Week.
About me: I graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Communications. I’ve worked with ESPNU, UK Student News Network, LEX 18 and now at WHAS11 I work in the web and sports departments. I’m a loyal Kentucky Wildcats, Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Lakers fan. Follow me on twitter @NickiSue456.