How football has become a deadly sport

Carson Field, Sports Editor

Over the past couple of years, football has proven to be a very deadly game. However, the consequences of helmet-to-helmet hits do not always appear immediately. Many concussions end up leading to trauma.  

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative disease that is often caused by concussions. CTE has become a recurring problem in the NFL as many former players have died from the disease.

CTE not only has qualities similar to dementia, but it also causes depression. Many former NFL players have committed suicide due to CTE. In December 2012, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and himself because of the depression caused by CTE, as revealed by doctors following his death.

Belcher is not the only player who has died from the effects of CTE. Other notable players that have committed suicide due to concussions and CTE include hall of famers Junior Seau and John Mackey.

Although CTE can only be diagnosed postmortem, 32 living former players have shown symptoms of this disease. Notable players who have shown symptoms include Brett Favre, Bernie Kosar and Jamal Lewis.

The NFL has added rules over the past couple of years to attempt to protect players from CTE. For example, a penalty for targeting, or hitting a defensive player in the head or neck, has been added to help minimize the amount of concussions. When targeting is called, the result is a 15-yard penalty and the player who committed the foul is ejected from the game.

Although this might seem like a great addition to football, many people do not like the targeting rule, and think that the targeting rule takes the excitement out of football as many of the previously legal hits are now illegal.

CTE is devastating and has shown to be a deadly result of football. Although precautions have been taken to minimize traumatic head injuries, none of them have shown to permanently cure CTE.