Drawn by Mari Sato

Drawn by Mari Sato

A common, beloved sport played by many men all over that is endorsed by middle schools, high schools and colleges is now shortening the life of the participating athletes. After multiple head traumas, a frightening amount of NFL football players have lost their lives. Statistically, 33 out of 34 football players that were members of the NFL showed signs of CTE, also known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. It’s common in professional athletes who have encountered concussions and other injuries to the head during their career. Side effects linked to CTE consist of memory loss, spikes in aggression, confusion and depression. To put those symptoms into perspective, they are also signs of dementia. Would you willingly play a sport knowing that you’re possibly shortening your future? Without being aware of the fatal injuries, parents can encourage their kids to devote themselves to a sport that could potentially impact their life forever. Culturally, we all love football and tend to group up and gather around the television when our favorite players and teams are on. For most boys, like football player Zach Silver, have dreamed of growing up and playing in the NFL since they were little. When asked about CTE, Silver found the whole thing incredibly sad, “A lot of guys entering the league don’t plan on developing something like CTE. But I do think it’s worth it because some of the guys playing didn’t get a full education and wouldn’t be able to make it in life if they weren’t making money in the NFL.” For my Dad, who played division 2 football in college, shook his head in sorrow while reading an article in the newspaper about the negative effects of concussions in NFL football players. In my opinion, I think the men going into the NFL should think about their families and their lives after football and decide if the cost is really worth it. However, some passions are unstoppable and in the end, the choice is theirs.