Last week we discussed the case of Junior Seau, a retired NFL player who committed suicide and was later diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a disease caused by repeated head trauma. Seau’s family is suing the NFL and a helmet manufacturer for negligence that led to Seau’s death. On January 29, the National Football League Players Association (NFPLA), a labor organization that represents professional football players, announced that it is negotiating a $100 million deal with the NFL and Harvard University to study the effects of brain injuries and other trauma on players.
According to CNN, this funding will go not only to research, but also to diagnosing, supporting and treating football players living with the damaging effects of a career in high-contact athletics.
“No one has ever studied these players before,” stated Dr. Lee Nadler, a researcher at Harvard and proposed leader of the study. Nadler is referring to the fact that CTE can only be diagnosed posthumously, so doctors never spoke to or examined the players before their deaths. The Harvard study will devote generous time to studying how players’ brains are affected, but their focus will not be limited to the head. Researchers are hopeful that working with players will give them a better idea of the progress of injuries and illnesses like CTE. Hopefully this information will lead to prevention tactics.
Though the NFPLA spearheaded this effort, the NFL has expressed its commitment to the study and to keeping players healthy over their whole lives.
“We have no higher priority than player health and safety at all levels of the game,” stated the organization in an official statement.
No matter the level, sports injuries can be devastating and have permanent effects. If you or a loved one has been injured because of another person or organization’s negligence, contact our Nashville accident attorney for more information about how we may be able to help you and your family. We offer free consultations, so contact us to learn more today.