Study: Large Majority of Deceased NFL Players had CTE

Vincent Frank

A disturbing report from the investigative television documentary series Frontline on PBS suggests that 76 of 79 deceased NFL players that had their brains studied posthumously showed signs of CTE ( chronic traumatic encephalopathy). 

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ brain repository in Massachussets the findings are alarming.

Researchers there have now examined the brain tissue of 128 football players who, before their deaths, played the game professionally, semi-professionally, in college or in high school. Of that sample, 101 players, or just under 80 percent, tested positive for CTE.

AS PBS points out, CTE can only be found posthumously, and those who had their brain scanned for the affliction likely had some reason to believe they suffered from CTE prior to their death.

It’s still a rather large number of individuals.

This comes on the heels of reports that former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Javon Belcher, who committed murder-suicide back in 2012, was suffering from CTE.

A report that was released during a current lawsuit that former NFL players have filed against the league also suggests about a third of all retired players develop cognitive problems, such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Combined, this new information brings to light the risk players are taking by suiting up for the game that they love. Based on what PBS reported on Tuesday, over 96 percent of former NFL players who were tested for CTE were found to have the affliction.

It’s surely something that the NFL and those associated with the game of football must put on the front burner moving forward. As players who enter the league become stronger and faster, this will continue to be an issue. It’s now all about the NFL doing what it can to minimize the risk.

Photo: USA Today