Junior Seau’s tragic suicide has once again turned the spotlight on the NFL and the violence implicit in American football. Seau typified the kind of player loved by football fans. He’s been described as a “human wrecking ball” for his style of play: violent and direct.
His is the latest in a string of suicides among NFL retirees. Research now suggests that these suicides might be linked to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a condition caused by repeated head trauma such as the kind that cause concussions.
A recent scientific study shows that “athletes who play American football showed symptoms of mild brain dysfunction at an earlier age than non-playing peers.” They also showed more symptoms of brain dysfunction. This study was looking at all those who played football, not just NFL players.
This study should make parents question the wisdom of allowing their sons to play football. But will it? Probably not.
Americans love their violent sports too much, and in the NFL there’s too much money involved.