Twelve athletes are donating their brains after their deaths to the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy in hopes of furthering research in the long term cognitive impairment of concussions associated with sports such as football, soccer, and boxing. Although chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) has become accepted in the boxing world, it has not received the same level of recognition in among N.F.L. officials, who govern American football, which can easily be deemed the most popular sport in the United States.
The NFL's failure to recognize the harmful effects on the brains of their own athletes is extremely troubling. Football is an integral part of society and is enjoyed by the majority of Americans. However, it is also extremely contact-intensive, and concussions are commonplace, occurring in the high school stadium in a small town to the giant stadium on TV. Unfortunately, reporting such injuries are shunned, as injured players can easily be replaced by others.
We have already seen in class the effects of brain trauma on an individual's judgement and responsibility. Unless we emphasize the safety of our athletes, I believe we face very serious social and legal problems that may be as widespread as our love for football. With more and more evidence connecting brain trauma and detrimental behavioral modifications, will it be possible to take legal action against the NFL for such carelessness and irresponsibility with their athletes' neurological health? Furthermore, would it possible to take legal action against the NFL themselves, should one of these athletes commit a crime? Lastly, because the NFL IS the national authority on football, I believe their irresponsibility in monitoring the neurological health of their athletes affects more than their professional athletes, but the millions of amateur football players as well.
New York Times: 12 Athletes Leaving Brains to Concussion Study