Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (C.T.E) is a degenerative brain disease found in athletes, military veterans, and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma.
In CTE, a protein called Tau forms clumps that slowly spread throughout the brain, killing brain cells. C.T.E has been found in numerous deceased National Football League (N.
F.L) players with the first being Mike Webster which sparked one of the most heated debates in recent memory between the N.F.L and little known pathologist from Nigeria.
September, 2002, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian born pathologist who is working for the Allegheny County Coroner’s Office is assigned to perform an autopsy on the body of legendary Pittsburgh Steelers Offensive lineman Mike Webster (known as Iron Mike) was when the first published case of C.T.
E was discovered and the threat of concussions was fully realized. Dr. Bennet Omalu was the first to bring his findings on C.
T.E and brain damage to the N.F.L which ignored his cries for safer equipment and proper warning labels.Real change in the N.F.
L did not occur until 2014 when a federal judge gave final approval on a class act lawsuit against the N.F.L filed by over 5,000 retired N.F.L players claiming that the N.F.L withheld information about the dangers of concussions.
The agreement of the lawsuit provided up to five million dollars to each of the players who retired before july 7 2014 and the award was also eligible to to the family if the player was deceased. Today the game is much safer thanks to the 5000 retired N.F.L athletes and Dr. Bennet Omalu, but there are still many unknowns about concussions and some who believe the N.F.L is still withholding information.
There are two famous cases in which C.T.E was confirmed found in two former N.F.
L players who committed suicide. Former San Diego Charger (now Los Angeles Chargers), Miami Dolphin and New England Patriots hall of fame linebacker Tiaina Baul Seau (Junior Seau) shot himself in the chest on May, 2, 2012 and former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Jose Hernandez who committed murder and decided to hang himself in his cell on April, 19, 2017, Hernandez was confirmed to have the worst case of C.T.E for someone his age (he was 27). Also Orenthal James Simpson (O.J Simpson) who committed armed robbery and allegedly committed murder has shown signs of C.T.
E and is believed to have the disease from the multiple concussions he has suffered during his N.F.L career with the Buffalo Bills.Is it possible that concussions and C.T.
E can cause aggravation and suicidal thoughts? With multiple cases of former N.F.L stars who committed crimes after a magnitude of hits to the head during their N.F.
L careers. Also with multiple players who committed suicide like Aaron Hernandez and Junior Seau, the thought of C.T.E being related to these crimes and deaths is a certain possibility. This disease has affected numerous of people ranging from pro bowlers and future hall famers to the last guy on the roster and guys on the practice squad, this disease is not selective it can come from any big hit at any time. Aaron Hernandez is the most recent example of what C.T.
E can do to a man. Aaron Hernandez was a pro bowl level tight end and making millions and then C.T.E interrupted the promising life of Aaron Hernandez, on June, 17, 2013 Hernandez murdered Odin Lloyd in North Attleborough Massachusetts.
According to Ronney Jenkins a former N.F.L running back who believes he has the degenerative brain disease “”My mood has changed, I’d be talking to a cousin of mine, disagree with him, and I’d just want to do something to him,” Jenkins said. “I don’t know why I had those thoughts, but I wanted to hurt him.” Hernandez’s teammates were shocked to hear about the alleged murder (at that time) that Aaron Hernandez committed as Jesse Holley who played on the Patriots during the 2012 season stated “Aaron was a fun loving guy. This is a wild situation but you never know what somebody is capable of doing until they do it,” Holley said “And to do something like this, and it’s still innocent until proven guilty …it’s just a ‘Wow’ situation” Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Odin Lloyd and was on trial for two other murders in 2012 when he hung himself on April, 17, 2017. Hernandez was also a very spiritual man according to ex teammate Jesse Holley “Him and I have had a couple of intimate conversations.
We prayed together” Holley said “Another guy on that team, Matt Slater, was a very spiritual guy. We all talked to Aaron. We prayed with Aaron” one of the ten commandments in the christian faith is “Thou Shalt Not Kill” and Hernandez did just that. C.T.E had taken over his life, made him do things he did not want to do, according to Lindsey Tanner from Boston.com “C.T.
E can affect areas of the brain involved with regulating behavior and emotions. Aggression, depression, memory loss and dementia are among symptoms in former football players whose brains were donated to research” Hernandez did not have control over his emotions C.T.E ended the life of a promising N.F.L athlete, 27 year old Aaron Hernandez.May, 2, 2012 is when Junior Seau decided to take his own life by shooting himself in the chest, the hall of fame linebacker was confirmed to have C.
T.E. Seau is another case which C.T.
E took a life too soon, Seau oldest son Tyler (23 years old) and ex wife Gina who was married to Seau for 11 years then divorced in 2002 but remained close friends noticed a very drastic change in his behavior after he retired from the N.F.L including mood swings, depression and forgetfulness, “He would sometimes lose his temper,” Tyler said.
“He would get irritable over very small things. And he would take it out on not just myself but also other people that he was close to. And I didn’t understand why.” During his 20 year N.F.L career with three different professional football teams Seau was never diagnosed with a concussion which shows how uneducated the N.F.L was on the subject of concussions and C.
T.E.Seau routinely complained of symptoms associated with concussions after receiving hits to the head during games and in practices.
“The head-to-head contact, the collisions are just, they’re out of control,” Gina Seau said. “He was a warrior and he loved the game,” she added. “But … I know that he didn’t love the end of his life, I think it’s a gamble,” Gina Seau said. “Just be extremely aware of what could potentially happen to your life.
” None of the Seau children play football anymore. “It’s not worth it for me to not have a dad,” said Tyler “So, to me, it’s not worth it.” The night before Seau took his life he sent a group text message to his four children and Gina “I love you” he wrote, Seau loved his children but C.T.E consumed him made depressed enough to take his own life and remove himself from his kids lives. C.
T.E took a good man’s life and took a father from four inocent children. Shortly after Seau’s death the National Football League Player Association (N.F.L.P.A) set aside 100 million dollars for medical research when it negotiated the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (C.B.
A) in 2013. “The only way we can improve the safety of players, restore the confidence of our fans and secure the future of our game is to insist on the same quality of medical care, informed consent and ethical standards that we expect for ourselves and for our family members. This is why the players have asked for things like independent sideline concussion experts, the certification and credentialing of all professional football medical staff and a fairer workers compensation system in professional football,” the N.F.L.P.
A said. In a official statement. The new agreement to set aside 100 million dollars for medical research is believed to be a direct result from the death of Junior Seau.Orenthal James Simpson (O.J Simpson) is believed to have C.T.E based off his noticeable behavior change, mood swings and the multiple concussions he had during his N.F.
L career as a running back for the Buffalo Bills. Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. says he believes O.J. Simpson may suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, After spending weeks portraying the former football star in “The People v. O.
J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” the actor stated “I believe that after O.J. passes, if we have the opportunity to dissect his brain, we will find the CTE concussion syndrome,” CTE causes mood changes, memory loss and changed behavior “If you look at his professional career, he broke records in high school, he broke records in college winning the Heisman Trophy,” Gooding said. “He rushed for 2,000 yards in one season, and only six other players have done that in today’s N.F.L, which is 16 games per season.
He did it in 14 games. The abuse his brain must have taken to achieve these things, there has to be something to be said.” O.J Simpson has have numerous concussions during his N.F.L career but like Junior Seau many more could have gone unnoticed. According to Dr.
Bennet Omalu who published the first case of C.T.E believes Simpson has the disease, “I would bet my medical license on it,” said Omalu.
Omalu has not examined Simpson personally but the doctor says he can identify the symptoms of C.T.E’s which he said includes explosive, impulsive behavior, impaired judgment, criminality and even mood disorders all of which Simpson shows. The strongest evidence that Simpson may have C.T.
E, Omalu said, is his college and pro-playing years. “He was exposed to thousands of blunt force trauma of his brain,” Omalu said. Simpson committed armed robbery, he served 33 years in prison and is now on parole. Simpson also allegedly murdered his ex wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman