In recent events brain damage has become a much more prominent issue in the football community. CTE also known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a brain condition that can only be diagnosed after death. Football is known as one of the most contact sports and this disorder is causing a lot of red flags to come up in the sport.
Mike Webster was the first NFL player to be diagnosed with CTE by Doctor Bennet Omalu. Mike Webster was a Hall of Famer who had played in 220 NFL games and he sadly passed away at the age of 50. He seemed to be going mentally insane before his death and this caused many questions to catch light. When he passed away in 2002 Dr Omalu did research on his solidified brain. He found what was known as dementia pugilistica or “Punch Drunk”. This illness was common in boxers but many did not believe football players could get this condition because of the mandatory helmets. After Omalu consulted his past professor, Ronald Hamilton, he believed the brain was actually a boxer’s until he was told otherwise by Bennet. Although CTE was not named by him and he did not find the first case of it, he was the one who brought the alarming issues to the surface.
CTE is not detectable until after death but there are a few red flags that can be noticed. These symptoms do not confirm nor deny a diagnosis in any way. Some of the main symptoms are memory loss, impaired judgment, and leading to dementia overtime. Many football players that seem to be “going crazy” are now being looked at with lots of question marks.
Players that are no longer alive such as Aaron Hernandez were seen as mentally insane and after their death it was then made clear the reasoning. There is a Netflix documentary called Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez and it was about Aaron from childhood to when he was investigated for murder and his eventual suicide.