The NFL has been under fire for several years as more and more research surfaces the worse their reputation gets. Recently, a Boston University study found that 99% of former NFL players in a study of 100 or 111 brains were said to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy. This is a degenerative brain disease and from the findings almost all players will be subject to these types of injuries. This has caused a domino effect in the league and could also bring on some legal repercussions. A Ventura county brain injury attorney can provide information on the possible implications and outcomes of pursuing a lawsuit against football teams or colleges.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
This brain disease is typically found in athletes and veterans who have a repetitive trauma history. CTE has Tau protein which forms clumps spreading through the brain and killing brain cells. Symptoms show years after the head trauma occurs and include changes to a person’s mood or behavior. This consists of paranoia, depression, aggression, and impulse control problems. The disease progresses over time and this brings more symptoms like memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment and dementia. Football players are prone to head injuries from hits to the helmet which is ironic as helmets are meant to protect the head.
This recent study has made many athletes reconsider their future plans for playing football. John Urschel walked away a mere two days after the findings were released. A quarterback for the Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger has also made comments that his retirement plans may be accelerated because of the study. During this time, former player Brian Price was caught on video acting erratically and his wife confirmed this was due to his football-related injuries. Even though the NFL has struggled for years with reports of head injuries this may finally be the straw that broke the camel’s back as more and more players seek early retirement. The next step may be to pursue legal action from players as it doesn’t seem that the NFL is making any changes.
20 Years of Concerns
In 1994, the NFL dismissed concussions as a journalism issue. After a report suggesting players should be removed from games after suffering head injuries, the NFL responded by question the reports and saying there is a lack of evidence. In 2002, after the death of Mike Webster, doctors find evidence of CTE leading to subsequent studies for many years after to present day. In 2004, Justin Strzelczyk was found to have CTE after his death. The NFL argues that players are less susceptible to concussions. 2010 marks a turning point of sorts as the NFL begins putting money into brain research and changes 50 rules to protect players from head injuries. Charges were filed by 4,500 former players in 2011 against the NFL for not disclosing the dangers of head injuries. The class-action suit ending in a $1 billion settlement. This shows that an experienced brain injury attorney can go up against the big guys and get compensation for your injuries.