Playing football may increase your risk for CTE, but just because you play, does not mean your brain automatically degenerates. In the majority of cases, it would take at least a couple decades or more for any signs or symptoms to come into play. Yes, you'll have your occasional, instant onset, CTE...but typically, it takes a long time for anything to show up.
And yes, I do see a possibility of CTE being a possible risk factor for suicide...but I will never see CTE causing suicide. All those symptoms are things that people deal with on a daily basis. Multiple factors have to come to play for someone to kill themselves. However, football players have to deal with more factors than the average person (again, fame, fortune, girls, retirement at 35, etc...). A football player deals with a lot more at an early stage than a regular dude...and therefore, is more prone to other factors that lead to major depressive disorders. So although I do acknowledge CTE and its possible contribution to suicide, I also think there is much more at play here for the typical football player killing himself.
Thats fair enough. Professional athletes live a more complicated life. Half of sports players even millionaires are flat BROKE after after retirement. I'm sure thats several times more a likelihood than the average person. Then there's excessive drugs and alcohol and all kinds of exotic substances in the body for physical training.
Then athletes tend to be pretty strong minded and bullheaded "Don't take sh**" types. . There's even the approach of playing THROUGH injury. They can apply that to life. They'll probably think they're on top of the life game when theyre NOT Something about them just "aint right" in general.
Though you said there's basically NO DIRECT effect of brain illness to any increased rate of suicide. Putting almost the FULL brunt of the causation on lifestyle choices and environmental factors.
I do think the "6x more likely" might be some exaggeration. Like its turning football players into suicide machines. But the head injuries just HAVE to trigger some of those "underlying" effects more. The amount of that is debatable, but its gotta be more than ZERO.
Very much aware some things can seem counter-intuitive. I don't think life and nature has to be "FAIR" and make rational sense, so that pieces always fit together to have understanding the way we want it.
It could very well be that head trauma makes people be LESS suicidal. Its just when you put the available data together,
tackle football be messing fools heads up. Worse than they went in.
Originally Posted by aghast
It's up to the viewer.
One can no longer, in good conscience, watch players destroy themselves. No transitory two minute drive is worth the necessary, cumulative effects of football, football played as written in the rulebook. Nothing is worth the decades of depression and dementia which necessarily follow from players cracking their heads against one another, day in, day out.
I love boxing. I can't watch boxing anymore, not after Ali. Now it's football too.
It's up to the consumer. No active boycott; just can't watch it, can't support it financially anymore.
We must seek more from our entertainment than just bread and circuses.
JayZ, you're right. Parents, don't let your sons grow up to be football players.
I'll continue to watch football though with a more guarded interest. I won't watch it the same way.
Though anything short of a boycott, its not like the league will dissolve overnight. (NO rookies entering the league have been phased by the concussion reports, all them gladly accepted their NFL invites)
So just keep the interesting going feeding the football beast, while hedging in other forms of entertainment. Until it gradually wears off.