March 17, 2013
The mission of Pink Concussions.com PinkConcussions.com is to highlight what is known about female concussions, list resources, and share women’s personal experiences with head injury. The goal is to encourage more research on the vulnerability, the causes of injury and the delay in recovery time for females of all ages.
The idea for originated from a misquote on Super Bowl Sunday 2013, when Jim Nantz stated on a pre-game show with Roger Goodell that “women’s soccer players are [two and a half] times more likely to suffer a concussion than a college football player.” What Nantz meant to say was to compare women’s soccer to “men’s soccer,” not to football players. This “misquote” caused controversy as press, and soccer-football fans alike scrambled to Google the correct statistics.
Katherine Snedaker, MSW, watched on Twitter as people struggled to find the source of the quote, and she realized there needed to be a central hub for information about female concussions. She knew that most of the statistics about female concussions were not easy to find as they are buried in short paragraphs in larger research studies. Within three days of the Super Bowl, Katherine launched PinkConcussions.com and on Twitter, @PinkConcussions, became the first site on the Internet to focus purely on female head injuries.
Katherine, an educator and expert in the mental health aspects of concussions, confirmed the site’s value when she presented in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 25, 2013, to the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council Committee on Sports-Related Concussion. As she was waiting to present on the effects of sports concussions on young athletes and their families, she noticed that almost every presentation had some small section about differences in female concussion, including those from the U.S. Army and ATC of West Point. Female concussions kept coming up throughout the event as side comments from presenters who announced these female differences should be studied in more detail in the future. The D.C. experience, combined with tweets and email coming in from female athletes, who had suffered concussions, encouraged her to continue working on the site.
Katherine believes Nantz did a great service to females who suffer concussions, and Nantz expressed to her that he was pleased he could help when they met at the NFL-GE Brain Challenge Event on March 11, 2013.
This is the third website Katherine has launched in the last five years. She launched SportsCapp.com to deal with the loopholes in the 2009 Connecticut Concussion Law. SportsCapp.com was designed to help recreational teams, town leagues, and private schools build concussion awareness into their programs for players, coaches, and parents. She designed this website around her concern with middle school-aged athletes who are not covered by CT Concussion Law since they play in private or town leagues rather than in public middle schools where they would be protected by the law. She has been working with CT and NY lacrosse leagues for several years and hopes to bring concussion awareness to teams from other sports across the state. In 2010, Katherine first founded Team Concussion, a social media/web based support group for teenagers who were isolated at home with concussions.
Katherine has her Masters in Social Work and has worked as a school social worker. In addition to being a lifelong athlete, she has over ten years experience coaching boys lacrosse and co-ed soccer with children aged 5 to 15. She has vast experience with concussions herself as an athlete, a professional, a coach, CONNY league advisor, and a parent of three active sons.
To help with research, Katherine has agreed to donate her brain to the study of CTE after she dies and encourages all adult athletes with concussion histories to consider this option.
Pink Concussion’s Facebook can be found here.