Throughout the basis of this position paper, I will be debating on the controversy of concussions present in the National Football League (NFL) and the sport of football in general. Currently in the National Football League, concussions are looked at as a dangerous aspect but most definitely a recoverable feature. Concussions are an
Science says concussions are inevitable; 96 percent of all NFL players and 79 percent of all football players test positive for brain disease (Source: Frontline League of Denial 9/18/15 Concussion Watch Article). Prior to 2002, the NFL’s approach to preventing, treating, and managing concussions and CTE was very different than it is today. My essay will explore what some of those differences were and whether or not changes in the NFL are improving the outcomes and quality of life for current and former NFL players.
CTE is a brain disease found in individuals with annals of head trauma. It has specifically been found in athletes with numerous concussions. So far it can only be diagnosed in the deceased, but Dr. Julian Bales and his staff in UCLA have discovered symptoms in living players such as Hall of Famer Anthony “Tony” Dorsett, Hall of Famer Joe DeLamielleure, and NFL All-Pro Leonard Marshall. CTE can cause memory loss, dementia, depression, suicidal thoughts, cognitive and emotional difficulties (Waldron par 1, 2, 3). Is it a compelling issue? A total of 171 concussions were reported in the NFL in the 2012-2013 season; 88 thus far in the 2013-2014 season (Frontline pt). Those are just numbers in the professional level. There are thousands of kids playing football either in youth, middle school, high school, or college level. The diagnosis is currently in progress, researchers are optimistic this could lead to a legitimate treatment, how to manage, and hopefully a cure. Furthermore, this can also possibly lead to an answer to a connection between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Junior Seau, Mike Webster, Terry Long, and Justin Strzelczyk (all of whom are dead now) are all men who played in the NFL for an extent period of time. This is not the only thing they have in common. These former players had an uncustomary
Many memories are made in football, but sadly some of the greatest players cannot recall them. The National Football League has been associated with concussions and brain traumas throughout the years, but lately it has been exposed by media and NFL veterans. The league recently “reached a $765 million preliminary settlement with thousands of former players who were suing the league over its treatment of concussions…” (Waldron). Many former players are experiencing the effects of taking hard hits over and over again; they were not properly treated, which makes the injury worse and long term. The concussion issue in the NFL is more prevalent today, because it affects not only the players, but the league as a whole.
While the NFL is putting new rules and regulations on equipment and which type of tackles are allowed, living retired NFL players are found to already have symptoms of CTE (Fainaru, 2013). Through brain scans and research done by UCLA, they have identified proteins in player’s brains that cause CTE, which as Dr. Julian Bailes, co-director or North Shore Neurological Institute said, is the “holy grail” to studying CTE and finding ways to cure and prevent it (Fainaru, 2013). While this is a break through, there is still no cure or way to treat CTE (Fainaru, 2013). But this research also raises questions about CTE and the NFL. Will players be required to be tested for CTE? Can players be denied playing anymore if CTE is found? Will this greatly affect the way that football is currently played? As the research is still being collected, there is still no definite answer to any of those questions, but the NFL has acknowledged the correlations of CTE and concussions caused by playing in the NFL and assures that they will do all they can to help prevent severe brain trauma to their players, including donating $30 million to the National Institutes of Health to conduct further research on CTE (Kroll, 2013).
Based on my research, there are considerable lifelong health related consequences associated with participating in grueling sport activities such as professional football. What responsibilities should the National Football League (NFL) have in regards to providing an adequate support system to players suffering from a concussion during a practice or regular season game and from lifelong challenges as a result of traumatic head injuries sustained during the regular season or practices? The resources I have referenced in this proposal essay, provide evidence to answer this question and lends support to my position that considering the violent nature of professional football, the NFL needs to take more efforts to protect players during the games and afterwards if a serious injury has been sustained that affects their quality of life and future earnings. Current policies are inadequate and continue to contribute to lawsuits and cost lives.
Did you know that 99% of the dead NFL players had signs of Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) when scientist looked through their brain (Ventras)? Most people wouldn’t know this fact, but scientist do and have known this since 2002. Even though they are making improvements, there is still an alarming rate of concussions happening. This report will discuss who is affected, how it can be prevented, how it is affecting sports today.
In the world of football, big hits are something that are looked at in a positive light. They are seen as a way of asserting dominance over other players and it is celebrated by teammates. Big hits are a very crucial, almost necessary, part of the game that millions of people gather to watch every Sunday. However, in the past decade, the NFL and other organization have realized that concussions can lead to very serious problems later in life. One of these problems is known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). It is a degenerative brain disease, much like Alzheimer’s, that mainly effects individuals in high contact sports such as boxing or football. Over time, this connection between concussions and CTE has become more common knowledge and more people have started asking the question “do the risks of children playing football outweigh the benefits?”. The answer to this question is yes, football is entirely too violent for children to be playing. According to “Big Hits, Broken Dreams”, one in ten football players gets a concussion, and 35% of players have more than one. The video also states that only 50% of high schools in the United States have a certified athletic trainer on the field (CNN, 2012). If concussions are really a concern for the schools, then why are there not more athletic trainers on staff at these schools to deal with sports injuries? This also forces the public to question these schools even more because if they are willing to cut costs and not hire a
A concussion is an injury suffered in the brain of an individual that can affect and alter a person’s ability to perform not only mentally, but physically as well. The New York Daily News reported on one of the finest cases of how serious the NFL is taking the issue on concussions, the current lawsuit that reached a “$765 million settlement reached between the two sides, 18,000 concussion suffer and the NFL” which states causes for important untold information the NFL refused to report to players about the prospective dangers concussions had for their long-term health, though this was later shot down by a federal judge claiming that it was insufficient sum. An NFL player may succumb from thousands of hits to the head playing football all
The NFL’s response to the CTE findings was that they denied there was a problem with CTE in their players and that the media made a big fuss over nothing. The NFL decided to choose a doctor to lead the committee on concussion research. This action was poorly executed due to the fact that they decided to hire NFL doctors that had no experience with brains. Their research came to the conclusion that football was not
In 2007, the NFL finally started to take steps to slow down the rate of concussions in football (Lauren Ezell). Although concussions still occur today, there are specific protocols that were inserted to protect players’ health. This topic is so important to me because I am a big fan of the sport, and I would hate to see my favorite players end their career with disabling conditions. I hope to the see the NFL continually trying to find ways to limit concussions. I believe that one day football can be played without the risk of living the rest of your life with a critical
In recent years, there has been a backlash from all kinds of doctors throughout the world that believe the National Football League or NFL needs to make adjustments to the way they treat head injuries, specifically concussions. A concussion is a brain injury characterized by an onset of impairment of cognitive and/or physically functioning and is caused by hits around the head and neck area. This NFL is under destress because of numerous studies that show concussions can lead to a large amount brain injuries way after the player has played his last game. However, this isn't just a problem the NFL is facing, the real problem is our youth contact sports and head-related injuries. High school athletes are extremely more exposed to concussions than
Over the past five NFL seasons, 1,215 concussions have been diagnosed. American Football has been around for over a century and is the most watched sport in America. Recently, questions have begun to be asked about football’s safety. I watch football every weekend, and I am very angered whenever one of my favorite players gets a concussion. Even before researching this topic, I knew a lot about concussions in football. Concussions can ruin careers but have recently been affecting the after careers of many former NFL stars. Football can be very dangerous yet but can be improved upon in next couple of years. I will first describe what a concussion is, then examine concussions in football, and finally discuss how it can be solved.
Over the past couple of years the National Football League as well as other football associations have witnessed a rise in the occurrences of severe head trauma to players resulting in concussions. One of the NFL’s top priorities is the health and safety of their players. These NFL players bring an abundant amount of joy and excitement to their wild, raving, die hard football fans across the nation. However, these mens’ health today and for decades to come is equally if not more important than their careers that often last an average of 4 years playing football. Despite the increase in the number of concussions in football, leagues are doing all they can to prevent concussions by implementing new rules, provide new and improved equipment,
It is good to see the NFL take steps to better protect its players, but critics say it is long overdue. And while they are fair in that assessment, even they have to agree that the league’s stances on concussions and policies has significantly changed in the last decade.