In the wake of another high school football player’s death, communities nationwide are demanding more research be done on the field of sports-related brain trauma. Football, specifically, is the sport targeted the most by worried onlookers.

 

Tom Cutinella, a 16-year-old student at Shoreham-Wading River High School, suffered a serious head injury last week, according to CNN. Cutinella collapsed on the field and later died at the hospital, prompting investigators to crack down on the freaky accidents that are becoming more and more common for players of the game. Cutinella was the third high-school athlete last week to lose his life playing football.

 

 

 

Kasandra Michelle Perkins, with daughter Zoey Michelle Belcher and Jovan Belcher (newsday.com)

Kasandra Michelle Perkins, with daughter Zoey Michelle Belcher and Jovan Belcher (newsday.com)

The NFL has been under attack lately, due to reports that suggest that brain disease does not favor players at the professional level, either. According to CBS sports and ESPN, autopsy conducted on Kansas City Chiefs Linebacker, Jovan Belcher, suggest that Belcher had brain damage prior to taking his life and that of his then 22-year-old girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins.

 

 

 

Spectators of the sport are pushing for heightened awareness of brain related injuries on football players, as they engage the league via various lawsuits that will hopefully provide the nation with some answers. Considering the organization does not even have to pay taxes, it makes sense that they should get pressure from their fans demanding more, particularly in the area of research that aims to better understand the brain trauma and game-related concussions.

 

 

This is not, however, a new issue for the sport world. Although scientists have made strides on and off the field, many often do not educate themselves on the inherent dangers of the sport. Why is this? Could ignorance be bliss for parents of young children getting into the sport, or is denial really at play here? If you are not aware of the reports the New York Times filed, you should take the time to discern that:

 

 

C.T.E. is a degenerative brain disease that is closely related to Alzheimer’s disease and is believed to be caused by repeated head trauma. It has been found posthumously in dozens of football players, provoking widespread concern about the sport’s potential long-term cognitive effects. C.T.E. is often diagnosed months after death, when brain samples are examined.

 

Even though C.T.E. has been properly identified, doctors are not overwhelmingly convinced that football is directly correlated to the numerous concussions and deaths plaguing the sport. However, this writer is not convinced as signs of C.T.E. were identified in other NFL players like Junior Seau and Dave Duerson who like Belcher, also committed suicide.  If C.T.E. is not the culprit behind the intense traumas inflicted upon these players, what is it then?

 

Until fans and the NFL take the careful attention needed to adequately diagnose the cause of this epidemic, questions will be all that remain.

 

 

If not C.T.E., what cause do you think is to blame for concussion-related deaths in football? Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet me @Kelseymbro