There has been numerous occasions where American football was accused of being directly linked to brain disease. Although there have been many controversies, yesterday marked the first time ever the National Football League acknowledges there is a link between football-related head trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, otherwise known as CTE.
And it wasn’t just anyone from the NFL, it came from the NFL’s top health and safety officer, Jeff Miller, the NFL’s senior vice president for health and safety.
There was a discussion on concussions held by the House of Representatives’ Committee and Energy and Commerce. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., asked if there was a link between football and CTE. Miller’s answer?
“The answer to that question is certainly yes.”
And with the admission this, Miller went onto say that, "I think the broader point, and the one that your question gets to, is what that necessarily means, and where do we go from here with that information."
The NFL also released the following statement: “The comments made my Jeff Miller yesterday accurately reflect the view of the NFL.”
There are still many disagreements on this issue. On the other side, there is Dr. Mitch Berger, a San Francisco neurosurgeon, who stated that “there is still no established link between football and CTE”.
As the discussion for the high risks that follow concussion grows, the NFL is at the center of attention due to its risks in playing the game. What does this mean for the future of the sport? Are there going to be more regulations, an age limit, or what?
Although I do love the sport, I have to say safety comes before the excitement of the game and the league must do everything it can in order to reduce the risk of brain disease for these players, not just for their career in the sport, but for the future of their lives.