What is CTE? CTE is a degenerative brain disease that comes from repeated brain trauma. It can cause all sorts of scary side effects like memory loss, aggression, depression, and suicide. It’s been discovered in boxers, soccer players, and –you guessed it – football players
Why’s it in the headlines again? Recently, former Baltimore Ravens OT Eugene Monroe released a statement saying that he’s retiring from football after playing only 7 seasons; he is only 29 years old. In his statement, he specifically called out CTE as the major reason he’s giving up the sport he loves. And he’s not the only one. Just this year, former Detroit Lions WR Calvin “Megatron” Johnson and Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch made headlines when they both called it quits at the age of 30.
Who will play football? With all the health risks, there is a fear that middle and upper class parents will stop sending their kids to football practice. Even famous football icons like Mike Ditka and Drew Brees have said that they wouldn’t let their kids play the game. Instead, only people from lower socio-economic classes will risk playing football for the possibility of a big payout.
Is there a way to fix this? Not yet, but there are a few ideas. This season, the Ivy League football teams are going to start protecting their big brains by eliminating tackling from their practices. Others think that we shouldn’t allow kids to play tackle football until they reach high school and their bodies are more developed. In the meantime, most people agree that the NFL needs to do more research on CTE. But they still have a long way to go, considering they only just admitted that there is a connection between playing football and CTE at all.