In 2010, 1999 World Cup champion goalie Briana Scurry was forced to retire due to a devastating concussion, but not before making her mark as one of America’s best female athletes, black or white, of all time. Rolling out was lucky enough to have Scurry answer questions on raising concussion awareness, Serena Williams, and women’s sports in general.
Do you still think about that 1999 World Cup final and the impact it had on soccer in America?
I’m incredibly proud of that moment and what we were able to accomplish. I think about that moment quite a bit, especially during the Olympic and World Cup season. Actually, 13 days ago [July 10] was the 13th anniversary. For me, one the most impactful and surprising gratifications I get out of that moment still to this day is recently a parent came up to me and said that moment changed the course of her daughter’s life, as she went on to play college soccer. Things like that are the most rewarding 13 years later, that something I did changed the course of a stranger’s life.
How do you view your career and rise to stardom?
I couldn’t have been more blessed when I look back on my career, especially now that a concussion ended my career a little bit early. When you look back on the longevity of any athlete in any sport, especially soccer, I played 15 years consistently and injury free, which is incredibly uncommon. My career was a great accomplishment, but it wasn’t just skill as there was obviously a little bit of luck involved as well.
What are your thoughts on the growth in recognition of female athletes in America?
To hear the incredible stories of women in my age range who have been able to make a career out of playing sports for a living. Most recently, Serena Williams winning Wimbledon as a Title IX baby and having her and her sister Venus just come in and completely dominate a predominately white sport is simply amazing. With Serena not only winning her 14th major championship — but winning it after overcoming many health issues, and seeing her incredible joy — is really moving.
You were recently on the Dick’s Sporting Goods panel on concussions in youth sports, can you speak more on the topic?
This [Protecting Athletes through Concussion Education] program is just amazing and I’m honored to be a part of it. I had a concussion April 25, 2010, and the more I talk about it the more I think about it. If it wasn’t for the impact limit test, I could’ve gone back to playing when I wasn’t ready, so I’m very honored to be on the panel because I’m a true testimony that this test works.,Concussions are complicated as I am still feeling its aftereffects. I was astonished to read that girls soccer is second only to football in terms of concussion [injuries]. It’s definitely relevant.