Chris Borland, a linebacker who was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft retired from the sport in March of 2015, making him “one of the first prominent NFL players to retire from professional football early in his career due to concerns over head injuries inherent to the sport.”

Borland’s concerns are based on the cases of three other NFL players, Dave Duerson, Mike “Iron Mike” Webster, and Ray Easterling who, after their deaths, were diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), an injury that causes a breakdown in the brain. CTE, according to medical professionals, was most likely caused by the repeated blows to the head the three players suffered throughout their careers; CTE made these men experience intense suffering, often to the point of breakdown.

When he was asked to comment about the lawsuit filed by NFL players against the League for its obstruction of the research on the dangers of sustained, cumulative head trauma, Super Bowl winning quarterback and TV personality Jim McMahon said that he knew his shoulders, knees, and back, his whole body actually, would be beat up, however, nobody ever mentioned the head. Even football legend, Mike Ditka, whose whole life was football, said that, if he had a son, he wouldn’t tell him to play football: the risk is simply much worse than the reward.

Foe so long, the NFL denied any possible link between the sport and brain injuries or CTE. In 2014, however, it reversed course and settled a lawsuit filed by former NFL players amounting to more than $765 million; these players attribute their neurological problems to their time in the league. While NFL players may receive compensation, this is not the same for non-professionals, who played in college bu never made it to the NFL. Some of these former college players now also struggle with depression and short-term memory problems.
Football is a dangerous and violent game. It involves very strong and heavy players running into each other at full speed. The sad thing is, the more violent it is, the more fans, owners and camera crew are awestruck, not fully understanding these violent collisions can result to chronic brain damage and/or irrecoverable body impairment.

“During the 2015 season alone, there were over 180 reported concussions in the National Football League, an average of 10.7 concussions each week over the 17-week season. While there are safety protocols and rules in place to prevent head injuries, many of these are arbitrarily enforced by referees and team trainers alike. Often responsible parties will take negligent action in order to further the entertainment value of football games. Players frequently feel forced to perform despite incurring severe head injuries in order to retain their professional careers and fans. This is incredibly dangerous for players as repeated concussions have serious long-term effects on a person’s wellbeing, such as:

  • Reduced life span
  • High medical costs
  • Brain damage
  • Chronic headaches
  • Impaired concentration and memory
  • Reduced balance”

For those filing NFL concussion lawsuits, the NFL has approved a fund for settlements that players can apply to on their own. Without help from a seasoned lawyer, however, a player may not be able to receive the maximum compensation possible from the fund, which is $5 million. To receive this maximum amount, a player ought to be able to prove that he is experiencing certain long-term neurological injuries – a real challenge without legal help.


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