I used to think that football players these days weren’t as tough as they used to be, what with all the new rules now in place that prohibit various types of hits, and protect players from certain types of injuries.
I’m beginning to realize that tough has nothing to do with it. The NFL is getting it right with protecting these men. There have been several incidents of suicide from former players over the past few years, culminating in the death of Junior Seau on Wednesday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
One commonality amongst some of the players who have died over the past few years—not just from suicide—has been chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), thought to be brought on by traumatic brain injuries such as concussions, which are extremely common in the NFL.
I’m beginning to thing much more is going to have to change in the way of protecting these men. The eyes of the public are beginning to open to CTE, and it’s my hope that athletes do not continue to die this way, or have their lives and cognitive abilities shortened because of these injuries.
I’m ashamed to say it took the death of a local sports hero—no, a local legend—to make me realize that. I realize it now, though. And as much as I enjoy football, something has to change.