The Risks of Football

Kyra Netting, Contributor

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Devon Walker, a Tulane University football player, broke his neck while making a tackle during a game. Three days earlier the journal Neurology reported that football players are three to four times more likely than the rest of us to die from brain diseases. If football, America’s most popular spectator sport, is dangerous to players, should we be watching it?

We are supporting a multibillion-dollar sport that has been known to have its players to be subjected to brain injuries.  Even though it may be entertaining to watch, players getting brain injuries is a big risk to take. Should we keep on watching and supporting it? Should the players keep on playing it? Could we change the rules so that brain tumors would be much less likely? America’s ready for football, but the human brain may never be.  Could you imagine watching flag football in the Superbowl? Most people would say no. Maybe we would feel more likely to say yes if we realized how many people have had brain injuries in the past. From the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University, where researchers and students studied the brains of 165 people who played football in high school, college, or professional level, they found evidence of CTE, a brain condition associated with repeated blows to the head, in 131 of them — 79 percent. Maybe we should stop and think about what we want to risk to be entertained.

CTE is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain often found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma or concussions. It can be fatal, and many NFL players in the past have suffered from this disease. There is currently no cure for CTE, so once you get diagnosed, there is not much a doctor can do. We need to think about the next generation, and we need to take care of the next generation. What are we encouraging? To play a game that can have horrible and fetal effects on the human body? Think about what you are watching, and think about if you want to keep on watching next time.

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