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Jerry Jones Makes Controversial Remarks Towards Brain Injury

Marshall Hastings
Special Projects Editor

Photo courtesy of Springfield College Marketing and Communications.

Really, Jerry? You’re kidding me right?

Just a week ago, the NFL finally acknowledged that there was a link between Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and football, and here comes Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys owner, claiming ‘There’s no research. There’s no data.’

Really, Jerry?

So the 96 percent of former football players whose brains were tested for CTE isn’t data? It’s not research? That isn’t enough evidence to signify that players are suffering from degenerative brain diseases? The fact that players, living and deceased, struggle, or struggled, with depression, Alzheimer’s, and other brain related problems at unbelievably high rates isn’t indicative of CTE and football?

What world have you been living in? I understand that down in Texas, where you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread, thinking that what you say and do is second only to the word of God, you may think this is true. But to everyone else in this great country, not a person will believe you.

No, CTE isn’t a conspiracy theory by former NFL players in search of an extra buck. This is a dilemma and problem that faces football players of all ages: professional, collegiate, even high school and youth players. Football is today’s gladiatorial battle, and brain injuries are a nearly guaranteed certainty. Every player that launches their skull into the body of another player realizes what type of damage each blow is doing to the most precious piece of tissue in the human body.

All there is is data. All there is is research. That’s what the individuals at Boston University have been compiling, Mr. Jones, taking the brains of former football players, researching them, compiling data, and coming to the conclusion that CTE and football are directly linked, hand in hand.

It’s not ‘absurd,’ as Jones says, to see the clear, solid line that connects CTE and football. We’ve seen the damage it does, and it’s not that Boston University picked a random sample of former NFL players, and it just so happened that 96 percent of them had CTE. The sample size may not be the entire group, but the sample size is plenty big enough to be indicative of the problem that football and the NFL are facing.

By the end of this, Jones, arguably one of the best businessmen of his generation, makes himself look like the senile old man that doesn’t believe his TV has a high definition channel, despite the fact that everyone has shown him the channel. It’s clear that football and CTE are related, and Jones denying that only hurts him.

The worst part of it all is his sorry excuse at explaining himself, saying, “All I said was that we (the NFL) have not changed. This is not an indication that we’ve changed anything or it’s not something we just started the last several years. We’ve been looking at ways to improve safety, looking for ways to assist in research and acting on it. So from that standpoint, I think the question was, ‘Have you changed your direction in the NFL?’ And the answer to that is no.”

Well sure, all of that’s true, but not one word in that statement proves the fact that CTE and football aren’t related. The NFL has not changed, that’s why we are dealing with this issue; because the suits that run the game care more about dollar signs and profit margins than the health of the players that make the league run. The NFL has not changed one bit. It is still a gladiator battle every single Sunday, and yet the gladiators are hardly protected once their playing days are over.

It gets worse as he tries to explain himself, saying, “We’re not disagreeing. We’re just basically saying the same thing.” No you’re not, you are actually disagreeing 100 percent.

The NFL has admitted that CTE and football are linked, and then you say it’s not. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s disagreeing. And you’re basically saying the same thing? Again, not at all. You are saying that CTE and football are not linked, the league is saying they are. Those sure sound different to me.

We could easily look over every sentence Jones has said on this matter and see that he does sound more like a man in an elderly home than the dignified businessman he is, but we won’t do that. What we will do is realize that one of the most powerful men in all of football is claiming that the biggest issue the game is facing is a lie, and that none of the CTE claims are backed up by research and data, when in fact all of it is.

It’s scary to realize the haunting truth of America’s most popular sport, but it’s potentially even more terrifying that one of its most powerful men refuses to believe it. CTE and football will continue to be linked, whether Jerry Jones believes it or not. But for the sake of the game, let’s hope his inability to comprehend the situation doesn’t leak into the beliefs of the ones that can help it.

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