New Yorkers who watch football know that it can be a brutal sport for the players. The best athletes in the world compete in a sport that involves collisions and impacts on every play. As a result, it is no wonder that there has been suggested links to head trauma among current and retired players. Yet, until a few weeks ago, the National Football League (NFL) never officially acknowledged there was any link.
That changed on March 14, 2016, during a roundtable discussion between the United States House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy & Commerce, Jeff Miller, Executive Vice President of Health and Safety Policy, and Ann McKee, Director of the Neuropathology Core at Boston University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center. When asked whether there was any link between football and brain disorders, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), Miller replied: “The answer to that question is certainly yes.”
This admission follows a report that showed that 87 out of 91 retired NFL players who chose to donate their brains for research had been diagnosed with CTE. The brain disease is known to affect a victim’s memory, caused mood problems, such as depression, behavioral changes, such as heightened aggression, and even motor problems, such as body tremors.
National Football League players have a strong players union to help protect their employee’s rights, but for workers in other fields, protecting their rights may not be as easy. According to the United States Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), all workers have the right to work in a safe workplace, be trained on potential job hazards and to “raise a safety or health concern with your employer or OSHA, or report a work-related injury or illness, without being retaliated against.”
Source: The Huffington Post, “NFL Finally Admits There’s A Link Between Football Injuries And CTE,” Kim Bellware, March 14, 2016