Football may be the favorite and most popular sport among Americans, but, professional NFL players usually should cope with the physical toll that the game may withstand them. The health risks associated with participation in American football have gotten more attention over the past several years. The focus has been on concussions and also the association of recurrent head trauma with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE often tops the list of football-conscious fear factors. Unfortunately, we do not know much about it.
CTE is a neurodegenerative brain disease found mainly in football players as well as boxers due to constant collision and shocks to the head. A brain with CTE fills with masses of protein, which, eventually, kill brain cells leading to certain death.
It all started in 2002 with Bennet Omalu, he`s a pathologist that handled former NFL`s player Michael Webster` s autopsy. Dr. Omalu was curious about the reason behind the death of a healthy man at the age of fifty.
So, he closely examined Webster`s brain and discovered that he had severe brain damage. After further studies, he determined that Webster died because of the long-term effects of repeated blows to the head, a disorder he later called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Moreover, the number of blunt force injuries accumulated by a football player throughout his career may result in head injuries affecting the mental health of a player. The physical damage to the brain may lead to clinical depression in some cases. An example is Andre Waters, his depression has led him to commit suicide.
In addition to brain-related side effects, football players are at risk for injuries during and after their careers. The more they play, the more they strain their muscle, thus, facing more severe consequences. Flexing, pushing off, and making hard contact taxes your joints, ligaments, and muscles. This can lead to immediate injuries like strained muscles and broken bones, as well as later complications like severe arthritis and joint pain.
On the other hand, some might say that playing football has some advantages like that it`s good for health because it`s a physically demanding game that improves speed, agility, strength and cardiovascular endurance. Other reasons would be teaching discipline and building self-confidence. Personally, I would not disagree that these are all great benefits, but, one can reap the same benefits without having to put their well being at risk to the extent I have mentioned before.