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Are NFL Concussions Linked to NFL Domestic Violence?

Stashed in: Football, Science!, Emotion, Anger, Brain, Awesome, Concussions

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I've heard a lot of football fans recently ask why it's the NFL's job to solve a major societal problem like domestic violence. Here's the linkage: repeated head trauma has preliminarily been shown to result in lower thresholds for rage and reduced ability to deal with emotion constructively. Many former football players who were always known as sweet guys and upstanding citizens -- Junior Seau, Mike Webster, Dave Duerson -- suddenly find themselves facing domestic violence charges years after their football careers are over... and years after even longtime abusers often stop after experiencing a reduction in aggression hormones. Too often these former players die early and sadly, and their brains show signs of CTE on autopsy. The NFL recently admitted in court documents that they expect 28% of former players to experience brain trauma!!! The NFL is at the forefront of brain trauma research, whether it wants to be or not... and giving rookies an hourlong lecture about how they should never put hands on a woman is not going to meet that challenge.

I had not made the connection between brain trauma and anger.

Sadly, it makes sense that taking too many hits to the head leads to uncontrolled emotions.

I hate to say this because I love sports, but I'm pretty sure humans were not designed to have the biggest, fastest, strongest examples ram into each other head-first over and over. There are animals like rams and woodpeckers that did evolve to do that kind of thing, and they are actually very interesting:

Thanks for that link -- you're right, fascinating. 

So what is the deep fan enjoyment/engagement and super successful financial exploitation/promotion of this sport?  Devolution?

Baseball has its issues, too.

We want the sport but not the violence that accompanies it. 

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