Safety is something that must be wagered in order to find success in any sport. This holds especially true for football. Football is defined by toughness; whether playing through injury or colliding with opposing players
at full speed, this is not a game for the faint of heart.
Today’s most popular pastime; has had more than its fair share of controversy regarding the welfare of its players. More specifically, concussions; have muddled the NFL’s image as a league for the safety and well being of its players.Although sometimes self-diagnosable, many players hide concussions so they can continue playing for victory and so they don’t have anything docked from their extravagant NFL paychecks. These players are taught from high school to keep going no matter the adversity they face. Considering concussions can be difficult to test for, this becomes even more of an issue.
Despite helmets continuing to be modified, finding a solution for skulls bouncing of each other has proven to be quite difficult. The NFL has received much blame for this issue to the point of a movie starring WIll Smith, Concussion, to be created publicizing the effects of concussions from football. However, most doctors believe this is an issue that simply does not have an answer.
A new 2017 study has found chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) was found in 99% of deceased NFL players’ brains. This study also found the disease in 91% of college football players and in 3 out of 14 high school players. This neurodegenerative brain disease causes a buildup of tau protein that disable certain neural pathways.
CTE can make life miserable for football players of any age with symptoms such as impaired judgement, memory loss, aggression, depression, anxiety, and sometimes suicide. Former NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez is also being associated with CTE as a cause of his random suicide.
The risk of injuries in football is one people are willing to accept, but that may be because they simply don’t know the extent of the consequences. Now with this information at hand, players can make what should be a very easy decision.