Sports Law • Risk Management

Tacky Post Football Game Handshake

It was reported yesterday that football players suffered minor injuries after shaking hands with visiting team Washington Court House high school that had just won the game. Apparently, someone on the visiting team had a tack or some other sharp implement in his hand as he shook the losing team member’s hands, causing minor pin pricks.

Unfortunately, the tack transmitted small amounts of blood from one athlete to another, but did not cause any serious injuries. The risk is the transmission of disease, such as HIV or hepatitis. The players received tetanus shots and are being monitored.

This incident is highly unusual and hopefully will not reoccur at other games across the country. It is likely that the player that caused the injuries will face legal charges and possibly lawsuits if any real harm was caused. Young players may not realize the serious consequences of being responsible for possibly spreading blood borne pathogens from one athlete to another. Parents and coaches should discuss this incident with players and educate them on the dangers and potential consequences to them and other players if they engage in similar conduct. Players should also be educated about hygiene so as to minimize the risk of spreading of diseases, such as MRSA in locker rooms.