Actually, I'm for football. But I'm for intelligent football that enhances us rather than football that steals away who we are.
All the NFL players I have examined pathologically, I have not seen one that did not have changes in their brain system with brain damage.
Chronic means long term. Traumatic means associated with trauma. Encephalopathy means a bad brain.
There is no safe blow to the head, especially for a child.
Trust in the great American ingenuity. We can derive more intelligent, more brain-friendly ways we can play football.
When I read Mike Webster's file before I began his autopsy, I knew he was more than a 50-year-old heart attack victim. His file and the television reports of the death of the former Pittsburgh Steelers center described a long, steep fall into bizarre behavior. I suspected he suffered from some sort of brain disorder.
No, no, I don't watch football. The last time I tried watching was the last Super Bowl. The problem I have is, you know, the graphic nature of my imagination; when I watch and see them meeting head onto head, helmet onto helmet, what flashes through my mind is what's going on in their brains. It's like torture to me.
I meet with retired football players. Some are well-dressed, some are well-spoken, but when you talk to them personally, they will admit to you that they are having problems. But they are managing their problems. They have impaired memory, they're having mood problems. They are being treated by their psychiatrists.
I grew up in Africa, in Nigeria. I never knew, I never had any reasonable encounter with football. I saw football on Sky News. I thought there were people dressed like extraterrestrials, you know, like they were going to Mars or something, headgears and shoulder pads. And I wondered why, as a child, why did they have to dress that way.
I am a spiritual person. I'm a Catholic. I treat my patients, the dead patients, as live patients. I believe there is life after death. And I talk to my patients. I talk to them, not loudly but quietly in my heart when I look at them. Before I do an autopsy, I must have a visual contact with the face.