John Affleck


If Football Is Deadly, Why Do We Still Watch?

New research finds brain trauma in 87% of players.

Right in the middle of football’s biggest party week, the 2017 Super Bowl, there was more tragic news on the head injury front. Ken Stabler, the flamboyant Oakland Raiders quarterback who led his team to a Super Bowl victory in January 1977, was found to have had brain disease – chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE – when he died of colon cancer last July.

It was saddening to learn of the latest National Football League great to have suffered from the illness but not shocking. Hall of Famers Frank Gifford and Junior Seau are just two of a growing list of former players who developed the disease, as confirmed the only way now possible – through an autopsy.

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