WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan Forced to Retire After Blows to the Head: 'My Brain Isn't OK'
The wrestler's retirement spotlights the dangers of concussions in sport.
Wrestling superstar Daniel Bryan has quit the WWE after revealing years of head injuries have damaged his brain.
The wrestler, whose real name is Bryan Danielson, admitted that he has suffered 10 documented concussions during his career and was affected by post-concussion seizures, which he kept hidden.
Danielson's numerous injuries that led to his forced retirement show concussions are not just an issue the NFL is grappling to deal with.
“There's this mentality within sports, and especially within sports like football, with wrestling, with fighting, with all that kind of stuff, is 'no, I'm going to tough it out, it's just a ding,'" Danielson said on Tuesday to ESPN, following his announcing his retirement on Monday Night Raw.
"If you're a competitor, you have that in you to feel that but you have a responsibility to yourself, to your family, to your friends, all of that, to report it just to protect yourself."
The fan favorite wrestler told the crowd in his hometown of Seattle on Monday: “Within the first five months of my wrestling career I had already had three concussions. When you've been wrestling for 16 years that adds up to a lot of concussions, it gets to a point where they tell you: ‘You can't wrestle anymore.’”
He added: “Maybe my brain isn’t as OK as I thought it was.”
ABC Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser told INSIDE EDITION: "I think it is important that we look at every sport and say 'is there a way to make this safer? Is there a better way to protect the brain?' It is not just fottball, all sports have some risk."
Wrestling is well-known for staging fights that are carefully choreographed before anyone steps into the ring, but wrestlers can still get hurt.
Daniel Bryan was dropped on his head multiple times in 2014 in a move called “A tombstone piledriver.” He was taken out on a gurney and had surgery to fix nerve damage.
"It seems that rarely a day goes by where we don't hear about a professional athlete whose had a problem with concussions because of they play their sport," Besser said.
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