By Ken Reed

I read two concussion-related stories this morning. One, was a blurb about former NFL player Adrian Robinson, Jr. Robinson, who played for several NFL teams during his short career, killed himself at age 25. Wednesday, an autopsy confirmed that Robinson had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease linked to repeated blows to the head. Robinson suffered several concussions during his football career.

“He went from being one of the nicest guys you’d ever want to talk to, to having a darker edge at times,” said family lawyer Ben Andreozzi. “The family started noticing changes in his behavior and didn’t know why.” (See “Adrian Robinson, Jr. had brain disease …

Now they do.

The second piece I read was a column by former NFL player Ross Tucker. The Princeton-educated Tucker has a provocative question in his column today: “If you suffered a concussion bad enough that it kept you out of action for four weeks, would you contemplate never playing again?”

Tucker said he definitely would consider retirement.

Luke Kuechly, a linebacker for the Carolina Panthers, is in that very situation today. He hasn’t played since suffering a concussion in the season opener. However, he’s expected to take the field this week against the Seattle Seahawks.

Kuechly certainly isn’t alone among today’s players when it comes to suffering from the effects of a football-induced concussion. For one, New England Patriots center Bryan Stork can’t play for at least the first eight games this season due to a severe concussion.

The San Francisco 49’ers Chris Borland announced his retirement earlier this year due to concerns about concussions and CTE. Will others soon follow?

We’re not talking about torn ACLs here. Knees can be fixed. We’re talking about brain injuries. The brain is the seat of your personality. CTE will slowly destroy your personality.

Is it worth it?

I’m guessing more and more players are going to say “No” as we keep learning more about how dangerous football is to the human brain.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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