It’s almost football time again! Football brings communities together. It gives young men across the country a sense of camaraderie, and for some it’s a path to a college education.
But for many more, football is a path to permanent brain damage. That’s a fact even the NFL can’t deny. The league gave the National Institutes of Health a $30 million check to find out more about Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy — that’s the name of the neurodegenerative disease at least 34 former NFL players have been diagnosed with.
How did they get CTE? Repeated head trauma — concussion after concussion after concussion. Check out this clip from 60 Minutes.
Decades after their injuries, players like the Vikings’ Wayne McNeill are tortured by early-onset dementia. Very early. McNeill is only 60. Up until very recently, he was a full-time attorney. Now crippled by the effects of the disease, which include memory loss and depression, he requires full-time, round-the-clock care.
McNeill was part of a brand-new study by UCLA researchers, who just this month announced that they had identified the chemical culprit behind CTE — a protein named tau — in a living former player.
Tau asphyxiates brain cells. An autopsy of former Chargers linebacker Junior Seau, who committed suicide last May by shooting himself in the chest, revealed his brain was drowning in tau proteins.
Science has overwhelmingly proven that injuries sustained while playing contact sports, professional and otherwise, are enduring and deadly. Even the governing bodies know it’s an epidemic. But admitting to the problem is only the first step — they are responsible for the suffering and financial losses of the victims.
For more information on CTE or to find out what your rights are, contact Garcia, Ochoa and Mask. With two decades of experience defending victims of deception and exploitation, we have the experience and the ability to fight for what’s right.