An article in “The Week” magazine states that in a recent study about 95% of NFL players that have died due to illness were in fact victims of the football related degenerative disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) (“Should Kids Play Football?” 3). CTE is a found in people who receive repetitive blows to the head, and results in memory loss, social instability, erratic behavior, and unfortunately death. CTE is the most commonly found in retired football players more than any other sport. Not to mention, CTE can affect people of all ages, so it is important to be mindful of the acts you let your child participate in. Including CTE many other diseases have been found to stem from playing football.
During the recent interview conducted by the New York Times, NFL members have denied having any relationship between the NFL and CTE. However, there is evidence pointing against them. I will try to prove that the NFL and CTE are directly related. This will be accomplish by using information from Dr. Bennet Omalu’s research to prove that high impact sports like football are the major cause of CTE. I will provide information about the life of a retired NFL player who suffered from CTE, Mike Webster.
In a case involving a 17-year-old who played football too soon after suffering a concussion and is now confined to a wheelchair. This was so serious because this teen suffered from second impact syndrome. It is often fatal and happens when a second head injury without recovering fully from the first. This boy got his injury when there was a helmet-to-helmet collision during a punt return. He had symptoms right away, but stayed in the game.
Severe Injuries in High School Football Why are there more injuries in high school football than there are in higher levels football? Thousands, perhaps even millions, of high school football athletes have some sort of devastating injury every fall during football season. Injuries such as concussions and neck and back injuries are gruesome. Other ligamental injuries torn meniscus, torn MCL, LCL, or ACL leave players questionable and heart broken not knowing if they can play again. Broken necks, and other fractured bones including: Ankle, Clavicle, Femur, Fibula, Humerus, Pelvis, Radius, Spine, Tibia, etc.
Every year a countless number of people are injured from the game of football. These people obtain all types of injuries from shoulder dislocations, to torn ACLs, to concussions. Many of these injuries are from the rules of the game and the way the sport is played. This is why it is necessary for the rules of football to be changed. The main reasons they should be changed are because the game is resulting in injuries and deaths, negative long-term health consequences for players, and children not being allowed by their parents to play due to the dangers of the game.
Therefore, this new penalty has been issued so players can do whatever they can to avoid the head. In John Branch’s book, Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard, the novel talks about a kid growing up suffered a serious concussion due to a dirty hit in one of his hockey games. The concussion was so serious and not properly treated, which ended in his passing. Derek isn’t the only one with such a story. Other tragic injuries like the concussion has occurred in sports other than hockey.
The brain itself is very very important to the human body because it controls each organ and organ system. In football, however, tackling someone could cause countless of head injuries and concussions. Several of these injuries could even turn to deaths. Researchers found that a “former NFL players who started playing tackle football before the age of 12 performed an average of 20% worse on series of cognitive tests than those who started playing tackle football after they celebrated their 12 birthdays…”. Other research has
“Hike,” the ball moves and two lines crumple into each other, both trying to obtain the upper hand as they churn their feet and push with final reserves of strength. In 1920, the American National Football League began, and injuries have been a part of the game since the start. However, significant, life-altering harm from the repetitive crashes into others with massive amounts of both size and speed, has become an epidemic in recent years. What used to be considered just a good knock on the head that “rang his bell,” is today of serious concern and will quickly be followed by extensive concussion tests. Physical injuries affecting players during professional football should not keep adults from watching since fans experience communal feelings,
Redesigning the Football Helmet Head to head contact is a very serious matter. Kids, adults, and everyone in between are getting hurt in football due to the hard hits they take either in practice or games. The goal is to make football safer but people are still getting hurt and even killed. There are new helmets coming out every year but still not eliminating the problem. Injuries caused from head contact need to be eliminated.
In 1994, then-commissioner Paul Tagliabue formed the “Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee”, to which he appointed the New York Jets team doctor Elliot Pellman as chair, even though Pellman had a distinctive lack of knowledge and experience in neurology, being instead a rheumatologist, specializing in joint pain such as in the knees. They originally claimed that concussions were an occupational risk, changing their stance to instead that there was no link at all after Hall-of-Famer Troy Aikman, Quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, took a knee to the head, resulting in a complete lapse in memory of all the events of the game prior. Commissioner Tagliabue can actually even be quoted as dismissing concussions, saying “On concussions, I think is one of these pack journalism issues, frankly… There is no increase in concussions; the number is relatively small… The problem is a journalist issue.” Later, as Dr. Bennet Omalu was trying to bring light to the issues in the NFL following him giving an autopsy to former Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Webster, who had died homeless and penniless due to dementia caused by repeated hits to the head, the NFL claimed that Dr. Omalu’s investigation were fraudulent and demanded that he retract his findings, a request usually reserved for claims believed criminal (Ezell). The ignorance of the NFL was strong then, but as light was brought to the issue it was
After researching this topic extensively as well as talking to Dr. Peter Deluca who now acts as the head team physician for the Philadelphia Eagles I have come to the conclusion that concussions are a problem that are not controllable by the NFL. Dr. Deluca explained that these athletes are using the most up to date technology in the world as far as their padding and helmets go and unless hitting is completely eliminated from the NFL concussions is a problem that you will see not only within the NFL but also with every contact sport. Major traumatic brain injuries are something that needs to be taken more seriously especially in youth sports as well as in highs school. I strongly believe that there is more that the NFL can do to help protect these athletes and these athletes should be compensated for the injures that they sustain over the course of a given career. Some other things that I believe that NFL should consider to make the game safer include, Eliminating kickoffs, having a mandatory sit out period after sustaining a major traumatic brain injury, having more support programs for athletes who suffer from concussion issues such as short and long term memory loss and PTSD and lastly, Larger fines for helmet to helmet hits.
Several scientists, which were funded by the NFL, claimed that they had found evidence that connected brain and head injuries to a condition that mimicked ALS (“Injuries Mimic ALS”). One of the scientists, Dr. Ann McKee, stated that she had found proteins that proved to be toxic in the spinal cords of three athletes who had obtained head injuries and were later diagnosed with ALS. She said that the proteins were not found in individuals with CTE, a condition similar to ALS. A 2012 study had shown that NFL players might be at higher risk of diseases like ALS (“NFL Players”). The study included nearly 3,500 former NFL players, with 10% already having been passed away.
With the recent advances in technology the head injuries experienced by National Football League players has been made more noticeable to the public. So the public has raised an eyebrow, questioning who will take responsibility to battle the issue of brain injuries in the National Football League. This subject involving player safety isn’t anything new, “In fact, a quick search of historical press reports shows that football related concussions have been associated with deaths and debilitating injuries since the late 1800s”(Lange 178). In football one of the most important parts are player safety. In fact, players wear equipment such as helmets, to help prevent head injuries.