Soccer star donates brain for research


Articles concerning topics on both sports and science tend to either be doping focused or either too scientifically written, exclusively catering to a selected few. Rarely are there sport science stories that appeal to a larger audience, and so when there happens to be one that catches public attention it’s always worth taking a look why articles like these draw so much attention.

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 2.48.24 PMBrandi Chastain, former U.S. national soccer team member, just announced that she will be donating her brain to Boston University for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) research.

Chastain rose to fame after scoring the shootout goal in the 1999 World Cup, ousting China in the final match.

Currently, in her late 40s, Chastain is assuming the role of a mother as well as that of a soccer coach in her community.

After the announcement, Chastain has become the second national soccer team member to donate her brain for research. Soccer players, similar to other athletes like boxers and football players are prone to concussions and minor impacts in mild traumatic brain injuries that result to CTE. With Chastain’s contribution to CTE research, it will be of significant value for the entire soccer community.

It was The New York Times that released this story on Chastain and I commend The Times for being able to present the article to its audience in such an empowering manner.

The article does not only shed light on how Chastain willingly wanted to contribute to her sport in her own little way, but also puts into context different issues relating to CTE risk, all by doing so in an educational way.

The article also included a question and answer response, which did enhance and strengthen the article content all the more.

The issue of woman empowerment was taken onto another step when it was linked onto how recent developments are made to benefit female sports icons like Chastain herself.