Since the revelation that 110 oIs CTE f 111 deceased former NFL player's brains have tested positive for the degenerative brain disease CTE, the conversation has moved to how we can prevent this from happening in the future.
CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy to the medically educated has been detected in the brains of 200 former football players from all levels. Democratic Rep. David Cicilline from Rhode Island played tackle football in his youth, and he recently promised to donate his brain to CTE research after his death.
He attended a forum in Washington dealing with the issue, and after asking what he could do to help, the answer was simple, be part of the solution.
CTE isn't only a risk for professional players. An unnamed high school football player who died at 18 years of age was diagnosed with the condition once researchers took a look at his brain.
I myself played football at a high level for a good chunk of my life, as well as other contact sports. It has me wondering if I have CTE? I plan on donating my brain for CTE research after my death.
CTE has already led to some serious consequences...
Junior Seau was one of the greatest linebackers to ever play the game. He retired a Hall of Famer, but after a long and brutal NFL career he should have been able to enjoy the rest of his life in comfort, surrounded by his family.
This wasn't the case. On May 2, 2012, Seau committed suicide by shooting himself in the heart. It has been speculated that he shot himself in the heart so as to leave his brain intact for research. He was diagnosed with CTE after his death.
Aaron Hernandez hung himself in jail earlier this year. The former NFL star had been convicted of murder, but had been acquitted of a double homicide in a separate case. He had been in the process of appealing his other conviction that had him serving a life sentence without parole. After his suicide his family donated his brain for CTE research, and the tests came back positive. Was CTE partly responsible for his actions?
Football is a gladiator sport. Those who play it at any level understand the risks. Just as everyone who gets behind the wheel of a car knows the risks. But is there any way that we can cut down on the risk of players developing CTE?