Research Shows 96% Of Deceased NFL Players Have Evidence Of CTE And It’s Scary As Hell

We all know that football is a violent sport, where trucking someone and causing them pain is actually celebrated, but a new study suggests that all of those hits to the head are causing some long-term effects that are scary to think about.

According to a study conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University, a ridiculous 96 percent of former NFL players tested had some sort of evidence of CTE—otherwise known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy—which is a degenerative brain disease.

In the study, which tested 91 deceased NFL players, 87 showed signs of the disease, no doubt scaring the hell out of those current and former players who heard about the report.

At least one former player tweeted out his concern, as Tom Crabtree, a 29-year-old who used to play for the Green Bay Packers, posted this to Twitter:

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And if you’re thinking that just those playing professional football are at risk, the research also tested brains of 165 former football players who competed in high school, college, semi-pro or the pro level, and 131 of those players showed signs of CTE.

Here’s more from the PBS Frontline report:

“Forty percent of those who tested positive were the offensive and defensive linemen who come into contact with one another on every play of a game, according to numbers shared by the brain bank with FRONTLINE. That finding supports past research suggesting that it’s the repeat, more minor head trauma that occurs regularly in football that may pose the greatest risk to players, as opposed to just the sometimes violent collisions that cause concussions.”

While the players tested are those whose families suspected they might have had the disease—which throws a small wrench in the findings—that doesn’t dismiss the statistics that continue to show football as a sport that needs more protection from head injuries.

In response to the Frontline story, the NFL released this statement:

“We are dedicated to making football safer and continue to take steps to protect players, including rule changes, advanced sideline technology, and expanded medical resources. We continue to make significant investments in independent research through our gifts to Boston University, the [National Institutes of Health] and other efforts to accelerate the science and understanding of these issues.”

CTE can only be found in a brain following a person’s death, but, like Crabtree, current and former NFL players have to be concerned knowing that they’re brain is literally wilting away from years of hits.

This has and will continue to be an ongoing problem which is why some players have decided to call it quits before the damage gets to be too much, just as former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland did this past offseason at age 24.

[H/T FTW.USAToday]