As the NHL and NFL grapple with an epidemic of concussions, Kevlar-reinforced helmets are increasingly viewed as a magic bullet. The technology is proving particularly attractive to players who have sustained head trauma and desperately want to keep playing. And later this summer, Vito plans to take his product mainstream, unveiling a multi-million dollar advertising campaign aimed at the hundreds of thousands of youth league players around the U.S.
But in the rush to make their players unbreakable, pro teams aren’t asking many questions of Vito beyond how quickly he can do the job. Neurologists intimately familiar with sports-related concussions warn that there is no scientific evidence that Kevlar can reduce the risk of head trauma. Worse, they fear the pads could make the problem worse by masking symptoms.
(Photo: Starting Quarterback Trent Edwards #5 of the Buffalo Bills suffers a concussion after getting hit by Strong Safety Adrian Wilson #24 of the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of their NFL Game on October 5, 2008 at Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. By Donald Miralle/Getty Images)