How deadly is the NFL?

May 3, 2012
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Junior Seau will forever be remembered as one of the greatest linebackers to ever play the game of football. But did he pay the ultimate price for the game? On May 2, 2012 Seau was found by police in his California home dead. He was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest. It is believed that Seau shot himself in the chest instead of the brain so that his brain could be examined for head trauma from playing football.

Seau is not the only former NFL player to commit suicide in the past few years. In February of 2011, the former Chicago Bears player, Dave Duerson shot himself in the chest as well. Duerson left a note saying he wanted his brain to be examined by scientists. It was later found that Duerson suffered from a neurodegenerative disease that could have been caused by multiple concussions.

Ray Easterling played for the Atlanta Falcons in the 1970s; he shot himself at age 62. His suicide is also believed to be a case of extreme depression from brain injuries on the playing field.

According to, sixty-five percent of NFL players retire with permanent injuries. The suicide rate among NFL players is six times the national average. Which is most likely due to brain trauma.

Seau is the eight member of the 1994 Chargers team, which lost in the super Bowl to the San Francisco 49ers. The other players to pass include Chris Mims, Rodney Culver, Curtis Whitley, Shawn Lee, Dough Miller, David Griggs, and Lewis Bush.

With over a thousand former NFL players suing the league for not informing the players about all the dangers of concussions, it brings a light to the seriousness of head injuries.

Players are having emotional issues such as depression due to concussions. The league is stepping up, making safer helmets, fining players who intentionally hit other players in the helmet, and keeping players out of games who have concussions.

Is the NFL becoming a deadly game? Are the fans just as bad as ancient Romans watching prisoners and gladiators fighting to the death in the Colosseum?

Eventually the fighting in the Colosseum came to an end and spectators were gone. It will be a very long time before the fans quit watching football. But with suicides occurring more often from a result of game injuries, the future of the NFL is without a doubt unclear.

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