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Brain Injuries In The NFL

Posted on September 18, 2012

It happens on any given Sunday. Sometimes it happens on Monday or Thursday nights. Two teams of gridiron warriors take to the field and battle one another for glory and victory. It’s a dangerous sport, but someone has to do it.

Unfortunately, several former professional football players are suing the NFL. One of them is Mitch White, a former offensive tackle who was signed to the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but never actually played a regular season game. White is among the more than 3,000 former NFL players who are suing the league for allegedly ignoring evidence of the link between football-related concussions and long-term brain injury.

The 1893 Tulane University football team, the ...

The 1893 Tulane University football team, the first in school history (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Neuroscientists have only begun to research and understand the impact of concussions — even seemingly “minor” ones — on the brain, and we will be seeing a string of new studies on this subject in the coming months and years. Just this month, for example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that professional football players are three times more likely to die from neurodegenerative brain disorders — including ALS — than the general U.S. population.

The sport had an earlier violence-related crisis. At the turn of the 20th century, football was almost banned as a result of the appalling number of deaths that were occurring on the field — 18 in 1905 alone. Changes to the game, especially the introduction of the forward pass and new safety equipment, saved the sport.

Similar actions to reform football are being discussed today, but many neuroscientists remain skeptical that they will make the game any safer for the brain. Football’s future really lies in the attitudes of families who must weigh the risks and benefits of letting their sons play the game. If families — and their sons — increasingly conclude that the risks are not worth it, football will become as irrelevant as boxing.

And brain injuries aren’t the only problem that football players face. They could also be victims of paralysis. Earlier this month, former Tulane football player Devon Walker sustained a spinal cord injury when he collided with a teammate in a game against Tulsa. He may be paralyzed for the rest of his life.

If you or a loved one were the victim of an accident that was caused by negligence or some other form of reckless behavior, it is important that you contact a committed and dedicated personal injury lawyer to help you decide if you should file a lawsuit. A competent and reputable injury lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

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