An NFL football player knows what information the NFL is putting out there about the risk for chronic traumatic encephalopathy. News stories report the NFL is studying the matter and will have more results in a few years. However, any research result funded by the NFL to study data provided by itself should automatically be questioned for validity as it is a potential conflict of interest. The source of funding for any study may influence the outcome of a study and create false data, otherwise known as scientifically invalid data. Scientists and researchers know this fact. However, football players, their families and everyone profiting from football may hold on to these statistics to support their livelihood and preserve their trust in the industry and their personal contacts. When it comes to football, we are talking about a huge industry with a lot of money to cloud the issue and keep the machine running. This data could potentially misinform young people and impact high school and college football players adversely.
So let’s talk about the players as people. Once someone has suffered two concussions, we know the next concussion or any that follows may lead to more severe brain damage and potentially a shortened life span filled with cognitive impairment, social strife and mood disorders before death. The NFL may argue that not everyone suffers trouble from multiple concussions. However, a disproportionate amount of their population provides evidence of brain disease at a much younger age than the general population and people that have never had a concussion. According to scientists and researchers, with no financial conflict of interest involving the NFL, there are a significant portion of autopsies done on middle-age professional football players that have died prematurely and show brain damage patterns similar to boxers and soldiers.
Is this an indication that perhaps warrants a closer look at those individuals who are high school, college or NFL football players that indulge in substance abuse, behavioral problems and criminal activities during seemingly successful football careers that may be really manifesting signs of early dementia or the adverse affects of too much head trauma?