Fortuitously timed for Super Bowl week, Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy released a study Tuesday detailing yet another athlete’s early death and a possible connection to severe brain damage accrued over years of violent blows.
The report implies chronic traumatic encephalopathy linked to concussions cause damage deep in the brain’s emotional ridges, which leads to many of the post-career symptoms of NFL players, wrestlers, and other athletes.
Even girls’ hockey players (a nominally non-contact sport) are reporting more concussions, and more lasting effects of those concussions as the sport speeds up. Certainly, the NFL would acknowledge some culpability in the necessarily violent nature of the sport. And they do … up to a fine legal point, of course.
The NFL quoth:
Hundreds of thousands of people have played football and other sports without experiencing any problem of this type and there continues to be considerable debate within the medical community on the precise long-term effects of concussions and how they relate to other risk factors.
So it might not be the violent collisions that cause the brain damage, but instead the possible widespread PED use or the absurdly large loads placed on insufficient skeletal frames - or previously unknown grass allergies.
The point is that the NFL will convene its own independent study someday and that will answer all the questions. And the NFL doesn’t have any legal responsibilities here, though they do react in a reasonable and conservative manner. But they’ll be damned if them sue-happy former players get their legal juices flowin’ so move along. Until then… strip clubs for everybody! Super Bowl! Woo!