When former NFL player Bubba Smith died in 2011, his family took the steps to donate his brain and have it examined by the researchers affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Boston University and the Concussion Legacy Foundation. Tuesday morning, the findings were released – Stage 3 chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
CTE is a degenerative brain disease that can cause cognitive impairment and problems with judgment. It has been linked to repeated head trauma and in the 94 brains of former NFL players that Boston University has examined; they have found 90 to have had it.
This disease is not only devastating to the players who suffer from it, but to their families who watch the decline of their loved one over time. It is because of this – and the many other neurological issues caused by the repetitive head injuries suffered by NFL players – that Locks Law Firm has been fighting for nearly 5 years to ensure that these players receive compensation for their injuries. The current settlement between retired players and the NFL will allow all retirees to receive baseline exams by board certified neurologists. In addition, it will ensure that those players who died from CTE or are suffering from dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or ALS, will be compensated. We hope that this not only helps those currently suffering, but believe it has furthered the discussion about concussion protocol and safety in sports, creating safer play for the future.