Where Are They Now? Considering the Fate of Concussion/CTE Victims Who Never Make it to The Pros
The world was shocked in 2015, when the Concussion Movie revealed the dirty secrets the NFL had been keeping regarding the known correlation between the concussions sustained while playing football, and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy(CTE). Once the information became public and widely known, the NFL later agreed to fund a settlement of up to $675 million to it's players affected by the disease, in exchange for a limit to future claims.
According to the NCAA, a little over 1 million high schoolers play football. Of those playing high school football, only approximately 72,800 (roughly 6%) will compete as NCAA athletes. Of the NCAA athletes, only approximately 250 will be drafted by the NFL. If you haven't been following the math, that leaves over a million amateur athletes who were likely to have been exposed to CTE through repeated traumatic contact to their heads, but who will never have an opportunity to earn a high income through a professional football career. Of the more than 1 million remaining, 17 thousand or so will have likely gotten a college degree due to their athletic ability. If they don't develop CTE and have their futures voided by the inability to adapt emotionally, they should be ok. But, you may be wondering what happens to the rest!
Well, it is hard to say what will happen, but it is possible that without the opportunity to earn a college education either due to their lack of superior talent, or due to their inability to adapt to organized collegiate athletics because of their background, or their early concussion exposure, they might end up being on the fringe of society with no one ever considering where they might end up.
It is important to understand that regardless of their level of skill or ability, their exposure to concussion and head trauma is significant. Even if you have never personally known someone was effected, they make an impact on society. They may be your neighbor who fights with his wife constantly, or the homeless person trying to warm himself around a barrel fire, or the drug addict who stole your purse at the grocery store. The fact is that it is entirely possible that a substantial percentage of the people who contribute to crime and poverty in society, lost their opportunity to lead a normal adult life because they chose to participate in organized football.
The truth is the recent information about CTE is just the tip of the iceberg. It will take decades of research and disease diagnosis to fully understand the impact of something most of us never considered to be a root cause of societal issues.
If you feel like your life, or your loved one's life has been negatively impacted due to exposure to head trauma while playing competitive contact football, you may need the assistance of a concussion attorney to see if there is a way you can get some assistance covering the financial gap they may experience as a result, or understanding and caring for the emotional and physical problems they have to live with after they stop playing. Feel free to contact us at Sanders.Law for a consultation if this situation applies to you.