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Is organized football worth the injury risk?

Teens should not be allowed to play organized football in light of new discoveries concerning head concussions. There are risks in everything you do but in football, you are bound to get a head injury. Teens should not subject themselves to the long-term consequences that are associated with concussions.

Scientists and doctors are making new discoveries in chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and are relating those discoveries to the game of football. CTE is caused by repeated head injuries and the symptoms may include behavioral problems, mood swings, and issues with decision-making. The damage is irreversible and the symptoms for CTE don’t start showing up until years later. The condition can only be determined after a thorough examination of the brain. Some doctors believe that organized football players are especially susceptible to CTE because of how rough the game is. Though the NFL wouldn’t exist if players didn't start learning the game at a young age, it's really not worth the risk of developing CTE as an adult. The NFL only exists to serve as a form of entertainment and once a player retires, they are left to deal with the consequences of their injuries on their own.

Aaron Hernandez played for the New England Patriots in 2010. During his first season he was arrested and charged with the murder of his friend Odin Lloyd. He was found guilty in 2013 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. While serving his sentence, he went on trial for another murder. He was found not guilty on those charges but committed suicide in his jail cell soon after the verdict. His brain was examined by Boston University's CTE Center after his death. 

According to reports, doctors discovered that Hernandez had stage three CTE which they had never seen in a person who was under the age of 46. It is believed that the multiple concussions Hernandez endured while playing football in high school, college and the NFL contributed to his actions the day he killed Odin Lloyd. Had Hernandez not played football maybe his future would have been a lot brighter.

If we as a society continue to allow teens to play organized football then we are failing them. Knowing the risks and still allowing them to play speaks volumes on what America is about. Teens who play organized football are essentially cutting years away from their lives.


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