NFL needs to do more to protect players from CTE


Canadian football player attempts a tackle during their game. Concussions have been proven to be most common in football and leave an added risk to the sport. Photo from Photo by Pixaby

Currently, the NFL has more than half of the reported concussions throughout pro-sports. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), is developed from many constant traumas suffered to the head. As of now, CTE can only be discovered in autopsies and cannot be diagnosed by a doctor. Many NFL Hall Of Fame members have been greatly impacted by CTE, which changed their lives for the worse. Many pro athletes don’t even allow their kids to play football anymore. 

“If I had kids I would have them with a club or bat in hand,” NFL legend Bo Jackson said. 

Bo Jackson is known by many to be the greatest athlete of all time and was one of the strongest players to ever play the game. Jackson dealt with many concussions throughout his NFL career, which was sadly cut short from a career ending hip injury. 

“These guys are getting bigger and stronger and that ain’t stopping anytime soon,” Jackson said.

In an interview with ESPN Jackson went on to talk about how players’ mental health and wellness isn’t talked about enough. According to the Chicago Tribune, the NFL has made around $15 billion per year since 2019. In total, the NFL has spent $85 million on improving their equipment and to research  injuries, according to an NFL news money website. The NFL should be able to invest more money in player’s health and CTE research since CTE has been found in many former players’ brains. 

“I wish I never met Mike Webster; CTE has driven me into the politics of science of the NFL,” Dr. Bennet Omalu said. “You just can’t go against the NFL, you will just get squashed.”

Webster was undoubtedly one of the best NFL centers ever. Webster won four super bowls, went to nine pro bowls, and was selected to the NFL first team seven times. Webster is also known for his post NFL life. He was miserable and one day he was eventually found dead on a park bench outside of his pickup truck he lived in. 

Webster was just 50 years old. The NFL covered up the event and made nothing out of this when it occurred. Later, they said it was a heart attack but doctors proved this wrong by examining his brain for CTE. The NFL knows how serious this is but they don’t want to spend the time and money to keep their players safe. 

“Aaron Hernandez was such a good teammate, and I really saw him as a best friend, someone I could lean on,” former NFL player Tim Tebow said.  

Hernandez was one of the most popular players in the NFL and many people saw him having a bright future until one night he murdered two people. He was sentenced to life in prison and was clearly struggling mentally. Hernandez committed suicide while in his jail cell many months later. Doctors found his to be one of the most severe CTE cases ever. These two athletes are just some prime examples of what CTE can do to a brain. 

“If I can see straight and carry a football then I ain’t telling no one,” retired NFL player Ricky Williams said.

Many players get told by these same doctors that they are sufficient to continue playing after a simple concussion test. During games, most players then always tend to believe that they are okay if it is bearable enough to see. Teams need to take more precautions with these head injuries before players keep ruining their lives. 

CTE causes many horrible things and this needs to be better prevented. Junior Seau, an NFL legend, committed suicide, and afterwards, doctors found a large amount of CTE in his brain as well. In the most recent news about former NFL player Philip Adams – who shot and killed six people before killing himself – was found to have prominent CTE and that caused his actions. 

These are just a few examples of what CTE has done to these professional athletes, and if something is not done about it then people will keep dying and ruining lives.