Let’s Talk Olympic Boxing, Brain Trauma and Sexism

In boxing and other combat sports head gear does not prevent concussions. Head gear does not reduce concussions. At best head gear is neutral for concussions. More realistically head gear increases concussions. The science says so. Among the speculated reasons are it makes the head a bigger target so its hit more frequently, reduces field of vision making it harder to see some strikes and causes more friction which could lead to more rotational force upon impact.

In 2016 the International Olympic Committee followed advice from the International Boxing Commission finding that head gear was more dangerous when it comes to brain injury in boxing. But they only removed headgear for men. Not women.

These regulators of amateur boxing say headgear is a danger. But women must wear it. Why? Their logic is there is more data speaking to mens boxing so they will only adopt this safety reform for men. Women receive the status quo.

Regulators boasted that science will be gathered specific to women’s boxing. Equality was on its way! It is now 2021. The Olympics are underway. Men are boxing without headgear. Women with it. 5 years and nothing to address a mandatory piece of equipment which may be increasing brain injury.

If you are a Canadian woman boxer and don’t wish to wear headgear in competition for safety reasons but are forced to you may have more in your corner that your voice. Provincial and Federal Human Rights legislation prevents discrimination based on sex and gender and a rule that gives safety to one sex and nothing to the other arguably violates this legislation. If you want the same rights as men when you box please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’d be happy to canvass your options with you.


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