past event

Future of Sports: Protecting High School Athletes After Damar Hamlin

At the Super Bowl, the NFL honored the 25 medical personnel who saved the life of Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills player whose heart stopped during play earlier in the season. Many high school athletes are lucky to have even one athletic trainer on site during games and practices; one-third of schools lack access to one. Having trainers on site can help save lives from cardiac arrest — the No. 1 cause of death among high school athletes — as well as prevent heat stroke, manage concussions, and treat a range of knee and other injuries among the millions of athletes who play high school sports.

What if Hamlin’s survival served as a catalyst to get every high school athlete access to an athletic trainer? What would it cost to do that elsewhere? What innovative partnerships exist to make this happen? And, where that’s not possible due to financial or personnel reasons, what other options exist to save lives and care for young athletes’ health?

We discussed this topic at our March 30 Future of Sports event. Speakers included:

Jeff Miller, NFL executive vice president for communications, public affairs and policy

Dr. Douglas Casa, Korey Stringer Institute CEO

Kathy Dieringer, National Athletic Trainers’ Association president

Tyrre Burks, Players Health CEO/Founder

Jon Solomon, Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program editorial director (moderator)


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Future of Sports is a conversation series, hosted by the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program, that helps stakeholders think through key questions shaping the future of our games, the sports industry and its impact on society. Past events examined the future of football, a series on college athlete pay including the government’s role and the future of name, image and likeness rightssports bettingathlete activismcoaching, the U.S. Olympic movement, women’s pro sports, children’s rights in sports, and the future of sports in the climate crisis. Contact Sports & Society Program Editorial Director Jon Solomon at with questions or inquiries.

Thank you to Axios Sports for its support as media partner of the Future of Sports series.

Event information
Thu Mar 30, 2023
12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT
Watch the replay here