December is easily one of the most exciting times of the year for sports fans such as myself. The NFL season is winding down and playoff races are heating up, and the NBA season really begins to hit its stride around this time. However, if you are a Philadelphia native like me, the past few weeks have been troublesome, to say the least. Not only are the Eagles all but eliminated from playoff contention, but Markelle Fultz, the Sixers number one overall draft pick, has been diagnosed with one of the most peculiar injuries the NBA has seen in recent memory.
After getting off to a slow start in his sophomore season and missing all but 14 games his rookie year, Fultz has been diagnosed with something called Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, a nerve disorder which affects the area between the neck and shoulder. Since this is such an uncommon condition, it makes sense as to why getting any sort of plausible explanation for Markelle?s shooting woes took so long. Yet the diagnosis raises another question: how did this injury happen? Although the obvious answer is ?playing basketball?, the conspiracy theorist in me (and many others, apparently) think that there may be another answer: a secret motorcycle accident.
If you dig a little deeper into Fultz?s personal history, it?s no secret the twenty-year-old has always had an affinity for dirt bikes and motorcycles. He even said on record that biking was his first love over basketball and that he has the ?scars to prove it?. What makes this so intriguing is that if you look into Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS for short), one of the most common causes is trauma due to a motor vehicle accident, especially from a motorcycle. Pretty interesting coincidence if you ask me. Furthermore, NBA contracts typically have certain restrictions that prevent players from engaging in reckless activities, including riding a motorcycle. So, if this story were true, the Sixers would have grounds to suspend Fultz or even void his contract entirely, giving Markelle?s team more than enough incentive to try and cover this story up. Yeah, pretty interesting indeed.
As both a Sixers fan and a motorcycle rider, I couldn?t help but wonder how common this injury actually is in motorcyclists. After some research, I could not find any mention of TOS anywhere. However, I did find that there are numerous injuries that one could sustain from riding in a motorcycle accident. These injuries include:
- Road Rash
- Facial Fractures
- Facial Disfigurement
- Broken Bones
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- And more
Although the number of ways that one could be injured in a motorcycle accident are staggering, nearly 42% of all motorcycle accidents are caused by a vehicle striking the rider while turning left according to Nolo. Other common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Head-on Collisions
- Speeding-Related Incidents
- Road Hazards
- Rear-End Collisions
- Vehicle Lane Changes
- Red Light Accidents
- Failing to Yield Accidents
- And more
Obviously, driving with caution is the best way to prevent any motor vehicle accidents from happening, but accidents will always happen even when precautions are taken. No matter how careful we are, there are still always going to be factors that are out of our control.
This is only the beginning of the dangers that riding a motorcycle presents. Compared to a car, a motorcycle is significantly more dangerous. According to FindLaw, motorcyclists are five times more likely to be injured in an accident than a person driving a passenger vehicle. What?s even more ghastly is that motorcyclists are a staggering 26 times more likely to die in an accident than a passenger vehicle driver. These statistics may seem like common sense, but the increased risk of sustaining an injury in a motorcycle accident compared to a passenger vehicle is enough to deter some from ever riding one in the first place. However, in my opinion, you face the risk of getting in an accident everytime you drive a vehicle, so you may as well enjoy what you drive.
All in all, there is no way to verify the legitimacy of these Markelle Fultz claims. And in all likelihood, we will never know for sure. If Fultz?s TOS heals, this will all be forgotten, and if he does not heal, he may never admit what truly caused his injury. Hopefully, Markelle makes a full recovery and lives up to the potential he had coming out of college. For now, we just have to hope for the best with him and trust the process.