NFL Deliberately Campaigned Against Science Regarding Head Injuries

from kottke

According to an upcoming book by ESPN reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, the NFL “conducted a two-decade campaign to deny a growing body of scientific research that showed a link between playing football and brain damage”.

More here.


67 Responses to NFL Deliberately Campaigned Against Science Regarding Head Injuries

  1. Greg D'Ottavi November 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

    The National Football League (NFL) has recently been under fire for its significant connection to its players and CTE or chronic traumatic encephalopathy. CTE affects the brain and is caused by substantial trauma from repeated hits or blows to the skull. Its side effects often include memory loss, confusion, and mood swings, which can be severe. This article briefly highlights how the NFL has been using its resources to destroy research on this connection rather than support and promote better player safety. For the NFL this has become a very dangerous issue as more and more players that are retired are being diagnosed with CTE and are experiencing severe problems as a result.
    CTE was originally only known to occur in boxers because of the repeated punches and head trauma received in the ring, but was discovered in NFL players in 2005. CTE research has been conducted at Boston University and has found that there are 50 cases of confirmed CTE in former football players, 33 of them being in the NFL. One of the most recent and unfortunate connections between the NFL and CTE has come from the suicide of NFL legend Junior Seau. Seau committed suicide in May of 2012 and at first there was very little reasoning or purpose found during the investigation as to why. A year later, Seau’s brain was submitted to CTE research and to little surprise, it tested positive. Scientists and doctors believe that severe CTE may have caused Seau to lose his mind, so to speak, which drove him into suicide. Damage like this as a result of CTE is devastating to both players, their families and communities. NFL officials need to take a stronger stance on this issue and help prevent tragedies like this from happening well in advance.
    In my opinion, one of the best ways the NFL can begin to prevent concussion or CTE related injuries is to distinctly prohibit against any type of hit to the head. Already the NFL has begun tightening their rules against violent hits and officials have not hesitated to call the penalties on the field, but it needs to be more consistent. Players need to realize the dangers of CTE as much as the NFL as an organization does. If players are constantly being flagged and fined for dangerous hits, then they will learn to hit properly and not lead with their heads. In addition to that, as I mentioned previously, players need to be educated; not just at the NFL level, but at all levels. If football players are taught to hit correctly at a young age and are told about the dangers of CTE from day one, then there is a lesser chance of it becoming a bigger issue on the future. Being that the NFL is the highest level of playing football, they can use that platform to promote player safety to all levels and make the league a safer place each year.
    Football is a violent sport and every football player knows that fact when they sign up to play at 8 years old. Nevertheless, that does not mean that football should not be safe. It is entertaining to watch hits and constant action on the field because that is part of the game and always will be, but young children all the way through to professional adults in the NFL should know what CTE is and promote ways to prevent it.
    Works Cited

  2. Chris O'Handley November 3, 2017 at 5:57 pm #

    This article really should not surprise me and yet it still does. Reports about the NFL’s denial of head injuries related to playing have been made clear the past couple of years and I think by now, most people know that playing football makes you very susceptible to brain damage. The NFL of course has tried to deny that to avoid discouraging people from playing the sport, but the extent to which they did that is what really surprised me. This story had only really become a large topic of discussion a few years back but the NFL has known about this correlation for over two decades. As far back as 1994, the league created the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee, to investigate the relationship between brain injuries and playing football. Some of their conclusions were startling. The league put out controversial claims such as ‘concussions are minor injuries’ or “multiple concussions do not increase the risk of further injury” and “football does not cause brain damage”. Jets former defensive lineman and now broadcaster was asked about the leagues downplay of concussions. He responded by saying he was not going to blame the league because players knew just as well as they did what was at risk. Lyons described a play from his career in which he experienced a severe blow to the head. When taken off the field, trainers came over to check on him and look for signs of a concussion. One asked, “how many fingers am I holding up?”. When Lyons said ‘three’ the trainer responded “close enough” and sent him back out onto the field. Sadly, situations like these were and still are common in the league. Former lions star receiver Calvin Johnson retired in the prime of his career and shared some eye-opening stories about how casual situations like these are in the league. He recalled times where either him or his teammates would be in deep pain after a game and would be given pain killing pills like they were candy. The correlation between football and injuries, especially head injuries, is very clear. The NFL cannot try to hide it anymore but they have not seen their league suffer too much yet because of this. Many players know about these risks and still wish to continue playing. Jets first round pick Jamal Adams received criticism for saying he would not mind if he died out on the field because he loves playing so much. As a jets fan I love the passion Adams has for the game but at the same time you have to realize it is only a game and you still have a future after your done playing. Now that everyone knows the severity and true danger of playing football, it will be interesting to see if the league tries to make major changes to the way the game is played to protect the players. If they do not, either the league will slowly die out as players begin to choose other sports or the league will continue to put its players in dangerous positions and jeopardize their futures.

  3. Nicholas Birchby November 3, 2017 at 6:03 pm #

    Injuries in sports are inevitable. Many of the times, there is nothing that can be done to avoid it, as they are a part of the game. Over the years, the National Football League has been under fire for discrediting research connecting football to concussions and more specifically the brain disease known as CTE. Researchers at Boston University have found significant evidence linking repeated head trauma to the formation of CTE later on in life. CTE can cause various different symptoms such as memory loss, poor motor skills, aggression, and confusion. It is a very scary disease especially since as of right now, CTE can only be diagnosed in deceased patients. This makes it extremely difficult to diagnose and treat. NFL Hall of Famer Junior Seau suffered from CTE early on when it was first being discovered. He was suffering from numerous side effects such as memory loss and extreme confusion. Junior Seau ended up committing suicide, and when his brain was examined, was one of the worst CTE cases that we have seen to date. In a more recent study of former NFL players, CTE was found in 110 out of 111 brains of former players. These numbers are absolutely staggering, 99% of former players suffering from these terrible side effects is a very scary thought for fans and especially for players. NFL players have begun to take note, as some have started to retire much earlier in the career, in hopes to prevent the terrible CTE from taking over their lives. One of the scariest stories I have seen was about a former Quarterback, who said he would be driving his car to go pick up his daughter, and all of sudden would have no idea where he was going anymore. It is absolutely ridiculous that the NFL has been attempting at covering up this horrible disease for the benefit of themselves. The National Football League is a billion dollar business with millions of fans across the world. The rise of knowledge in CTE poses a tremendous threat to the future of the game of Football, specifically the NFL. Of the major American sports, professional football players make the least amount of money, have the least job security, and the most dangerous careers. The growing fear amongst the NFL is that within 30 years the National Football League could actually end up falling apart. This would be caused by an extreme decrease in football being played across the country, especially in the youth programs. I played football from 7 years old until I was 18, and I suffered probably three or four concussions. Compare that to someone who plays from 7 all the way until 35 years old, playing with the best athletes in the world, smashing heads at top speeds. It is easy to see how a players brain could be in serious danger. The scariest play in football is the head to head collision, when one player goes down seemingly lifeless. This is caused by the extreme impact to the head, which shocks the brain and forces it to bounce off the skull. This impact causes brain bruising, known as a concussion. The repeated smashing of your head causes wear and tear on your brain that eventually turns into CTE, which basically rots the outer layer of your brain, releasing chemicals that cause the terrible side effects. The NFL must find a way to limit the amount of head to head contact in the game, which they have already begun to try. They have begun fining and throwing flags on players who are considered to be “targeting” a player. “Targeting” is a new penalty in football, it is called when a player goes for a tackle while leading the way with the crown of his helmet rather than his shoulders or chest, against a defenseless receiver trying to catch a pass. In my opinion, I do not think there is much more that they can do without truly changing the game of football. The game is extremely physical and extremely violent. Players are running around as fast as they can at all times, trying to do their jobs and win the game. There is no way to slow these players down, minimize impact, and take away impacts to the head. The best way to prevent the development of CTE in players would simply be educating them in every way the proper way to make tackles without using your head. In high school football, the emphasis was constantly on keeping your head up, and making the tackle with your shoulders and protecting your head. It is a very dangerous game, but there is nothing like it in the world. If you ask any NFL player, I am sure that they would not have traded their experiences for anything in the world.

  4. Brian Ayoub November 3, 2017 at 8:15 pm #

    This year has been a injury-filled campaign for professional athletes. Just over the past few months alone, JJ Watt, Deshaun Watson, Odell Beckham Jr., Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Gordon Hayward, just to name a few, have all suffered season ending injuries. Every year, horrific injuries occur, however, this year has been way more relevant. Each year, commissioners of each of the professional American sports try to minimize injuries and protect the players that generate their businesses hundreds of millions of dollars. For example, NBA players have been complaining about their grueling 82 game schedule. They either want to reduce the amount of games in a season, or spread the season out longer to avoid wear and tear. When you account travel and practice, it amounts to a very tough lifestyle to fit into seven or eight months. Now the NBA has spread out the games to allow more rest time in between games. Instead of having most games after only one day of rest, the schedule has been changed to two days in between games. This has allowed for more rest for players to allow their bodies to recuperate. In the NFL, they have made many new rules over the past decade to protect their players from injuries. For example, you can not hit the quarterback after he releases the ball. This allows the quarterback to avoid unnecessary injuries. Of course in the NFL, the sport’s main attractions are the quarterbacks. This is why there is a need to protect them more than the other players. Many fans have argued that the sport has become soft. As much as this sounds crazy due to the violence that ensues during a game, when you compare the game today to 20 years ago, the sport 20 years ago was much more violent and physical. When it comes to the player’s health, it is a good thing that the sport has started to protect the players a bit more. A scary study that came out stated that, “Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE, was found in 99% of deceased NFL players’ brains that were donated to scientific research, according to a study published Tuesday in the medical journal JAMA. This is extremely scary because it shows how detrimental playing the sport of football is to the human brain. Dr. Ann McKee, director of Boston University’s CTE Center and coauthor of the new study stated that, “and we urgently need to find answers for not just football players, but veterans and other individuals exposed to head trauma.” What is even scarier is that, according to an upcoming book by ESPN reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, the NFL “conducted a two-decade campaign to deny a growing body of scientific research that showed a link between playing football and brain damage.” I can see why the NFL would do this, but it is extremely disgusting if it is true. When people see the terrible effects of playing football for your health, it will destroy the sport since parents will prevent their children will playing. However, in the eyes of the NFL, releasing these studies will hurt their business. In a moral aspect, it is the right thing to do to help the future athletes help their future health. Hopefully the NFL will do the right thing and try to further research.

  5. Michael W January 26, 2018 at 6:33 pm #

    The NFL is one of the biggest brands in the United States. It is also arguably the most followed sport in our country. Some of our nation’s greatest athletes play professionally in the National Football League and are some of the reasons we watch the sport. Athletes like Odell Beckham, who everyone can remember that incredible catch he made his rookie season, and Tom Brady, who at 40 years old is playing in his eighth Super Bowl and appears as if he can play for another five years. These well known, household names are huge marketing pieces and faces of franchises that generate millions of dollars for their team and the league itself. However, like any sport, injuries are bound to happen. For example, in this season players such as Odell Beckham, Aaron Rodgers, JJ Watt, Deshaun Watson, and Carson Wentz all were injured playing football. Injuries are part of the game. Some can be minimal, but others can be season ending. All the players above were injured during the season and led to them missing the remainder.
    Although this is a major issue, it is not the NFL’s biggest concern. Head injuries are happing on nearly every play and are being treated for consistently throughout games. Concussions are when your brain makes contact with your skull in any direction. Symptoms are headaches, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and unconsciousness to name a few. The scariest thing about concussions is that you can acquire one without even making contact with someone. A sharp cut or turn or hitting your head on the surface can also give you a concussion. The fact the NFL is attempting to deliberately campaign against science regarding head injuries is absolutely baffling. The priority of the NFL is to protect the players. If you are unable to produce your best lineup, attractions such as fans, views, and money will decrease if the main reason people follow the sport are unavailable to play. The protocol for concussions is certainly not thorough enough for the players. Players are receiving significant blows to the head, leaving the game, and returning shortly after. An example of this is this year’s NFC Wild Card game between the Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints. Cam Newton was tackled very hard and was swept off his feet on a drive late in the game. Cam got up and was noticeably wobbly. His legs were buckling, and eventually, after attempting to walk off the field, he collapsed and laid on the ground. The game then went to a commercial break due to a timeout, but on return of the game Cam Newton was back in the game. After the game, the team doctors were heavily criticized for not protecting a player and rushing him into the game. Another issue that is occurring is after a person’s playing career is over and the effects of concussions come back around.
    A heavily discussed topic is about the disease call Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). This is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma (often athletes), including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head that do not cause symptoms. Many players have come public about having symptoms of CTE, such as Frank Gifford, Dave Duerson, Chris Henry, Mike Webster, and many others. More players could potentially come forward, but unfortunately, the disease cannot be diagnoses until after death. In an article conducted by CBS News, Boston University Researches confirmed that they found CTE in 87 of 91 in deceased former NFL players. Terry Long, was 45 and suffered from CTE. He ultimately committed suicide due to the pain and struggle of living life with this disease. Today, the NFL is attempting to place rules in order to protect players and avoid head injuries, but in the heat and adrenalin of the game, anything can happen. Players will do anything to win, and that potentially means making a play that can result in injuries. I personally believe that the NFL should seriously consider head injuries, and place as many actions as possible to protect against head injuries. After suffering multiple concussions throughout my athletic career, I understand the damage and struggles that people go through when having a concussion. They should always be taken seriously, no matter how small the contact or belief is, because it can lead to major deficiencies and side effects long after your career is over.

  6. Tyler s October 5, 2018 at 1:20 pm #

    The NFL is worth $63 billion. It is the largest professional sports league in the world. The NFL reaches this stature by putting business first. Player safety has always been at the top of their role change list, with the new helmet to helmet ejection role. The NFL attempts to pride their league on the protection of the players. However, for over 20 years the NFL had knowingly denied the effects of CTE and denied a link from CTE to football. Out of 111 players whose brains were tested for CTE, 110 were positive. Among these players was Junior Seau, who committed suicide.

    The NFL should face consequences for these actions. Knowingly denying a disease that is killing former players should be illegal and at the least, unethical. Commissioner Goodell makes $200 million while the players that put their lives on the line don’t have guaranteed contracts. The players who unknowingly put their lives on the line because the facts are hidden from them. No one is denying the NFL and football is violent in nature, but facts that impact human life should be reported. The NFL should be forced to report the facts to the public to keep their players safe and allow them to live long lives around their families. Players are more than a dollar sign, they’re humans and should be treated as such.

  7. Nicholas Russo November 2, 2018 at 8:26 pm #

    While people often think of the gigantic, brutal head to head hits when they think of CTE, a huge part of the risk is just the every-play blocking and the fact that if you go from moving fast to a dead stop, your brain can smack against your skull. Because of the increased padding and increased rest time (time between plays and not playing both offense/defense), there is far more emphasis on explosiveness, strength, and speed relative to endurance in American football.. So you’ve got everyone hitting everyone on every play, and they can put more force behind each hit because they’re better rested. Additionally, the combination of helmets and the 10-yard first down rules means that the rugby wrap-up style tackling might not always be the most effective if they fall forward another 2-3 yards. . In football, a play stops when you stop the ball carrier, whereas in rugby, play continues. So in football, a single hard contact is the aim of the tackle to ensure the abrupt end to a scrimmage, whereas in rugby, exerting a full force contact does relatively little to stop play if the offense is set properly and can form a ruck and reset the line. You’ve got much more motivation in football to take an opponent down with hard contact, whereas in rugby your aim is to stop the ball carrier and immediately get yourself back into a position to defend further forward progress or begin to take up an offensive position.

  8. Zach Towlen November 4, 2018 at 9:46 pm #

    I understand that this article is a little out of date from the time of this post and much has developed since, but I wanted the opportunity to discuss this topic. I was a whole of a lot younger in 2013, so I did not know this story back when it was released. The fact that the executives inside the NFL knew about the head injuries and how bad they are for players later on in their lives, is unreal. The owners and executives should of came together and attempted to fix the health issues instead of throwing it under the rug. In order to fully understand their point of view, we have to put ourselves in the shoes of the NFL executives. According to this discovery, it has been a two-decade long process of suppressing research. At the time, the owners knew that the league was exponentially growing as far as its fan base goes. They were raking in money that they could not even count. The greed got the best of them, and maybe that is why the executives decided to hide the known issues of head trauma in its players. As we turn the page to today, they are sticking to the process they created all these years ago as an aggressive public relations push, keeping them good in the eyes of the fans.
    I am not defending the league for doing this, by all means, but both ends need to be looked at in any situation. After this article was released in 2013, the fans finally realized what the league is doing to hide scientific research on head trauma, so what have they done since to fix it? They have turned their public relations approach to more conservative, where they acknowledged that the head injuries are a real issue. They made stricter rules regarding head to head contact and tackles on defenseless players. They also are forcing ejections of players who commit these fouls after 2 strikes along with very heavy fines. Recently, repeat offender, Vontaze Burfict of the Bengals was fined over one hundred thousand dollars for hits on multiple players during a game. The league has turned a new leaf with this approach, acting like they have not been on the other side of the fence the last twenty-five years. The league needs to become proactive in their approach. They need to partner with researchers of CTE and head trauma to find a fix to this issue. They need to go out of their way, above and beyond what their current approach is to help their players health.

  9. Griffin Smith September 18, 2019 at 12:01 am #

    This article really made an impression on me because I am a big football fan, and would be upset if one of my favorite players had to retire, or harmed themselves after the fact because of a problem with CTE. Even though league officials knew the harmful effects of this terrible head injury, they kept their mouths quiet at the time, so that the TV ratings for the league did not drop. I do know that nowadays the league requires players to stay up to date on the new advancements with safer helmets, and make players practice safer tackling, for example they teacher defenders to wrap the offensive player up and spin him down. Recently a notorious player, by the name of Antonio Brown did not want to change his helmet because the newer, safer helmet impaired his vision a bit, he filed multiple grievances with the leagues front office, which were all turned down and in the end he had to switch his helmet. The league has also implemented new penalties for if a player hits another player in the head they get a flag, and most likely once the week is over they get fined for up too $100,000. I am glad that the league is finally now in 2019 accepting that CTE is a real problem for current and future players, and their main goal should be to be keeping players as safe as possible, and ensure they live a long, happy life after football is over. Media is also bringing more attention to the head trauma problems with the movie Concussion which came out in 2015, the movie is about a pathologist named Dr. Bennet Omalu, who tries to present his findings of CTE to the NFL, and the NFL pretty much denies his findings and threaten because they don’t want it getting out to the public. This movie shows how terrible and selfish some the NFL league officials are when it came to talking about a serious subject concerning the health of people that provide entertainment for millions of people every week. I believe there is still much that we don’t know about CTE and head injuries from getting hit in the NFL, and I think moving forward the NFL commissioner should be more cooperative with scientists and doctors learning how they can make football a safer place for players. In turn, I believe TV ratings will get better with viewers having peace of mind knowing that the players heads will be safe, and if the NFL would have been more truthful in the first place, they wouldn’t have lost the trust of players and fans.

  10. Tyler Abline September 19, 2019 at 1:06 pm #

    I’m a big NFL fan, and the new information coming to light about CTE is extremely frustrating. Due to CTE many former NFL players are still dealing with the effects of playing football and likely will for the rest of their lives. Despite the new rules and regulations the NFL has put in place in order to help prevent head trauma, it’s coming way too late. I saw the movie Concussion a few years ago and it is based on a true story about a doctor whose research on CTE was suppressed by the NFL, and it showed just how greedy the NFL is. They didn’t want information surrounding CTE to get out because they didn’t want to lose players or fans due to the knowledge that football is more dangerous than previously thought, but had they started implementing measures to help prevent CTE earlier instead of being pretty much forced to not only would it have helped prevent many players from getting injuries but we would be even farther along in the fight against CTE. The NFL showed not only willful ignorance but in my opinion malice as well on their part due to them deliberately withholding information about player safety and putting their players at risk due to their greed. We still do not know the full effects of CTE and much of that is due to the NFL’s negligence on the issue. The fact that they went out of their way to not only ignore the problem of CTE but to actively suppress information about it is disgusting. The NFL could have and should have been a positive force in the fight against CTE far sooner, and their current measures against it were only put into place due to heavy backlash from players, the media, and fans.

  11. Mia Ferrante September 20, 2019 at 10:27 am #

    Football has been one of the most-watched American sports for years. Whether it involves a favorite team in a city close to your hometown, or a favorite player you’ve been watching for years, it was hard to see the sport of football dying until I came across this article. I knew that head injuries in the NFL are common, but I had no idea on the severity of concussions and the long-term effects they had on one’s health and how the NFL was downplaying the harshness of head injuries among its players. The corrupt actions that take place in the NFL are second to no other professional sports league in the United States. However, one could expect this taking into consideration how popular the sport is not only in the United States but across the world. Concussions have always been a topic of discussion in the NFL because of the head to head contact and harsh hits, but the NFL has been trying to keep doctors quiet by implementing new safety equipment and legal hits during games. As a New England Patriots fan, the retirement of Rob Gronkowski was a tough loss to the organization. Most people were thinking that Gronkowski already has 3 rings, he’s retiring because he has enough money. However, in a recent interview, Gronkowski told CBS News that he suffered “probably, like, 20 concussions” in his life with five of those being “blackout ones” while he was playing football. When the truth finally came out, football fans across the country were shocked because if Gronkowski was having so many concussions that are detrimental to his health, why weren’t there any doctors or coaches preventing him from playing and protecting his health.
    Football is such a popular sport among the United States that I do not picture it being banned due to the concussion crisis. Although, I do see the potential numbers in football dropping considering there are so many children starting at such a young age, and parents do not want their kids to get hurt. I think perhaps the NFL and doctors should stop hiding the topic of concussions and make more protective headgear for players to wear so that the sport of football everyone knows and loves can continue to thrive in American culture.

  12. Rav Gill September 20, 2019 at 11:40 am #

    The leaves hadn’t started to fall and we were already anticipating the call of football. America’s favorite sport (most favorite) that we wait for once the leaves start to turn brown and fall. I asked myself who was going to be in the Patriot’s lineup and how we were going to do this season. September 5th came around, and the Bears played the Packers and the Packers reigned on them. We were just waiting to hear that someone fought, someone was hurt, or everyone came out of the game unscathed. However, is it reasonable to expect from a football game? I know we all expect it from ice hockey games. This article about the NFL denying football can cause brain damage hit the spot. It was upsetting and made me angry because everyone knows that some of the worst injuries have been seen on the football field. An example is Wes Walker, “one of the best slot receivers in NFL history…” (The Sportster) suffered many injuries on the field but not one as bad as blowing out his left knee. He tore two ligaments in the process and this injury damaged his leg and his mental health as well. He was having a great season and was on track for so much more, when this injury occurred. Patriots coach Bill Bellchicks response to this was “the turf at Reliant Stadium played a part in the injury” (The Sportster). My thought here is that if something as bad as this can happen, then brain injuries aren’t a far jump from it. But, the same people who are supposed to protect their players are fighting against them. It doesn’t even sound realistic to say that football injuries can’t cause brain damage because we see it on the field.
    The hits, the tackles, the pile ups are all a chance at someone taking the brunt of it. In order to do damage control, the NFL “lobbied successfully to prevent Goodell from testifying on the same panel as the father of a high school quarterback who had died after sustaining a concussion” (Book… Against Science). This was clear proof of science linking football and brain injuries and the NFL thought they could deceive the public. At this point, the league’s committee that was formed to investigate this was clearly lying and not providing enough evidence to support their claims. Many ex-players who had to leave the league because of brain injuries came back to testify that their indeed is a connection between brain injuries caused by football. About 4500 ex players came back to testify that “… the league’s Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee conducted fraudulent research to hide the connection between football and brain damage” (Book… Against Science). The committee was directly denying these claims, but the coaches and trainers were saying something else to their players.
    Supposedly, if a player was hit on the head, they would take a quick test of counting fingers and be told to go back if they got it right to continue playing. New York Jets defensive linemen, Marty Lyons said that you might take a seat on one side of the bench but you would be right back out to play soon enough. He says that “Players had to be more responsible for their own actions. I’m not saying the league didn’t know… It was part of the game” (Book… Against Science). This is where it conflicts because we know how busy the coaches, the trainers, the assistant coaches are during games, so they have to hustle. But, is it really up to the players to have to protect themselves from developing small injuries into severe injuries. Like Mike Webster, who developed Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, and his mental state deteriorated quickly. In his last days, he was threatening to harm NFL officials for not picking up on the condition. A great player brought down by someone else’s mistakes. Another commenter mentioned that “… it troubled him that league representatives and officials would go to any lengths at all to deny and cover…” up the fact that this was happening. I agree with him because the way that this article depicted the NFL, they are only in for a profit. All in all, hopefully, this teaches us something about not only having to step up and take action on what we think is wrong, but, not everyone who claims to, has your back. Especially if there is profit involved.

  13. Jake September 27, 2019 at 8:59 pm #

    Over the past few years, the progression of scientific discoveries has shown that football is one of if not the most dangerous sports on the planet. The damage to the brain that many former players now have has altered their lives so much that some can’t live a normal life past the age of 50. Now although many people are starting to revolt against football it is one of the most historic parts of this country over the past 100 years. As the NFL learns more and more about these cases, over the past three years since this article has been written they have made incredible changes to try to make the game safer. Not only that, they have created new rule changes in an effort to make player safety their biggest priority of all.
    The future of the NFL however could start to decline in popularity. This could be from several factors but the most prominent is the lowering rates of youth football year in and year out. With less players every year means less talent, and many years down the road, the quality of the game is going to be very bad. I do think football is such a great sport however, and I hope that scientific discovery, along with changes and rules can lead to more player safety because the only way to save football is by knowing that there is less risk of long term injury.

  14. Dominic Caraballo October 25, 2019 at 9:03 pm #

    Football is an extremely fun yet scary game. Some of the strongest and fastest grown men on the planet play this game – running, hitting, and tackling each other over a ball. Everyone who watches and or plays this game is aware that injuries are bound to happen as it is a part of the sport. This is exactly why there are trained medical staff at every game and practice; to treat those who get hurt playing arguably one of the most violent games on the planet. We aren’t just talking about professional football alone where injuries, specifically head injuries, are prevalent. According to a statistic from, “American High School football players were struck in the head 30 to 50 times in every game and regularly endured blows similar to those experienced in car crashes, according to a Virginia Tech study,” which is why there are medical staff at all games and practices of every level.

    Hearing that the NFL deliberately campaigned against science regarding head injuries is extremely insidious. This shows blatant disregard not only for human life but for those who like to play and watch the game alike. There is no good explanation for this other than the fact that the NFL worries more about the revenue their players generate than for the players’ health. Players deserve to be treated justly for brain injuries by receiving proper treatment and rest because it could alter their lives forever. Brain injuries could drastically change the lives of the players and their family members by leaving them unprotected to mental illnesses like Alzheimers, as stated in an article from Players are even going as far as committing suicide due to the brain damage they suffered by experiencing numerous concussions while playing football. By the league turning their backs to the risks they are abandoning their players to, both physically and mentally, they are essentially escorting the players to their graves. More needs to be done in terms of awareness, treatment, and prevention on behalf of the sport of football as a whole.

  15. Colby Richardson November 7, 2019 at 7:12 pm #

    There is nothing like enjoying football on a Saturday afternoon. It is a very entertaining sport and it is a staple of American culture. As it is very enjoyable, one aspect we don’t always take into consideration is the wear and tear it puts on the players body. Due to its physical nature, it is common for these players to suffer injuries. While some injuries are simple sprains and bruises. Some injuries are serious and sometimes end a player’s career. So I think it would be important to take a deeper dive into this.
    Over recent years, the NFL has taken more steps into the leagues concussion protocol. If a player gets hit in the head, the ref has the right to send them to the sideline for to be checked. But even still, these players are still getting hit to the head. It is a part of the sport but it should be of concern. Since there are reports that there are long lasting effects on these players. These players are suffering neurological issues due to the trauma that they faced from football.
    So while I believe this sport will never die. People are putting their future at risk by playing it. So we should be doing more to protect them. The safety equipment is good but it could be better. If we take a deeper dive into the equipment they use and what could be made better, the future of these players could be a lot better.

  16. Preethi Dwarasila November 7, 2019 at 8:23 pm #

    This article brings up a really good point. People enjoy watching NFL. It’s been there forever and many people enjoy playing it and watching it family. This sport has so much craze that the Super Bowl has so many viewers. The thing that most people don’t understand is the injuries that come with it. Many players suffer head injuries because this sport is all play and really active. And no one really wants to take this point really seriously because they just want to watch the game and have their favorite teams win. But many players lost their lives to this sport and that could have been stopped if there was proper education on that. The players have long term effects which they can’t take back once they are in this sport and anything can happen during the games because it’s a head on game. This sport will never end because this craze won’t end. During almost every player’s life he definitely had an injury and had to take time off. Sometimes players don’t take the time off and they want to come back to the game and that’s where they make the mistake. There needs to be a program where the players are fully recovered and do not get hurt even more. And these injuries happen to even high school football players because everyone wants to make it to the NFL.

  17. Anthony Freda December 6, 2019 at 8:50 pm #

    This article really came as a shock to me when I first read it. I didn’t truly believe that the NFL, one of the most powerful sports leagues in the country would even consider doing something like this. Since the release of this article, the NFL has stepped up their game and is making to make football a safer sport. Law suits, deaths, and concussion rates finally made the NFL’s commissioner’s office to make the game more safe. Every day, scientists are working to create better technology, retrieve data, and test products to help safen the game of football. The NFL and NCAA has also updates their rules to call penalties against any hit to the head or neck area, and continuous efforts to protect the quarterback.

    The NFL began to make efforts towards player safety when the brains of passed NFL players Junior Seau and Aaron Hernandez were studied. The astonishing results showed both players endoured heavy cases of CTE. CTE is a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries and concussions. Thankfully since studies have been conducted, NFL concussions have continued to decrease and head/ neck injuries have also decreased. The NFL will look to continue their research to help better the safety of their players.

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