Concussions: Is Football Worth the Risk?

By Reece Wisler

Concussions are prevalent in many sports, but it seems that concussions are mostly known as football injury. Concussions is a big concern for athletes in many physical sports, but in football concussions are being diagnosed at an alarming rate. According to protectthebrain.org, between 1.6 and 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur each year. Many concussions go undiagnosed so it is hard to calculate exactly how many concussions occur.

Since the turn of the century, concussion research has made major strides in the medical field. In 2005, Dr. Bennett Omalu published his findings of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in NFL players. CTE is a degenerative disease of the brain found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma. Over the years Omalu, has found CTE in autopsies of  many former NFL players. Omalu believes that a large portion of current NFL players have CTE, and has even gone on record claiming that he would bet his medical license on OJ Simpson having CTE.

Omalu, and many others have called for football to be banned. They claim that the risks of the injuries outweigh the money that the players are making. It was proven that the NFL knew about concussion risks for decades, but swept their findings under the rug. The NFL will never be banned, over 250 million people each week watch the NFL.

The solution of this issue is to make the game safer and give the players health benefits. The average NFL player participates only 3.3 years in the league. Even if the player makes around one million dollars a years for the three years that wouldn’t be enough money for their whole life, especially if the player need a lot of medical assistance. The NFL has made strides to make the game safer, but they can still improve. Now that the general public knows the statistics, the NFL can no longer hide their findings.

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