Since 2005, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) has been detected in an increasing number of American football players. This neurodegenerative disease is commonly found in people who have suffered multiple head injuries, notably those participating in contact sports on a regular basis.
Currently, CTE can only be definitively diagnosed after death, though many living NFL players (including O. J. Simpson) are suspected of having the disease. Symptoms of CTE include disorientation, dizziness, headaches, memory loss, social instability, impulsive and violent behaviour, vertigo, deafness, dementia, depression and suicidality.
Despite the severity of the disease and the resulting tragedies inflicted upon the lives of many American football players, the NFL’s hesitance towards accepting responsibility, as well as a failure to raise awareness of the issue, treats its athletes like commodities, prioritising monetary gain over the health and safety of the individual.