Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘CTE

When NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick made the choice to kneel during the national anthem, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he disagreed with Kaepernick’s choice. “I support our players when they want to see change in society,” Goodell said, “On the other hand, we believe very strongly in patriotism in the NFL. I personally believe very strongly in that.” Unfortunately, Goodell didn’t believe strongly in the right of his NFL players to know the truth about the research conducted by Dr. Bennett Omalu, the Nigerian forensic pathologist who fought against Goodell and the NFL when they tried to repress his research on CTE – chronic traumatic encephalopathy, suffered by professional football players.

I just finished reading an interesting article by sportswriter Patrick Hruby in which he makes an excellent case against the NFL applying the fairly new field of Brain Injury Science, saying that “football hits pull the brain like silly putty, stretching and shearing nerve cells.”  He points out that currently more than 3,500 former players and surviving family members are suing the NFL, essentially attempting to hold the league liable.  Some players have committed suicide and the clinical symptoms of CTE are: “Impulsivity.  Disinhibition.  Volatility.  Problems with depression and emotional control.”  I’m not saying the NFL is at fault, especially since some research shows that athletes are most susceptible to brain injury while playing high school football.  Mr. Hruby points out that “Boys and young men – whose brains are still developing – are more vulnerable to football-induced head trauma.”  So it’s possible that many injuries may have been present in some of the NFL players long before they became professionals.  Or even before they entered college.  I’m bringing all of this up since it’s also possible (and I’m only saying “possible”) that Aaron Hernandez may be suffering from CTE and not even realize it.  Certainly it’s something to think about.


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