Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Good Sign

The NFL has created a new warning sign about the effects of concussions, to be hung in every locker room this upcoming season.

A version of this will also be given to all active players in the form of a brochure.

I'm still concerned that the focus on concussions allows the league to ignore the greater problem of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE may be caused by repeated blows to the head, even those that don't necessarily rise to the level of a concussion. Evidence suggests that the small hits that every player takes again and again and again over decades of play, can add up and finally trigger the onset of the progressive neurodegenerative disease. Pretending that concussions are the only problem, or even the primary problem, is to ignore this great danger lurking on the field of every game.

But small steps. What's really important here is that after years of denial, the NFL is finally admitting that the game has serious and long-ranging consequences for the men who play it. And it's about time.

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