When post-concussion syndrome forced ex-NFL star Merril Hoge into early retirement in 1994, research on football-related head injuries wasn’t a priority.
At the time, football was heavily influenced by a tough guy culture, and little was known about concussions and their potentially dangerous effects. Then the tragic death of Hoge’s ex-teammate Mike Webster in 2002 launched a wave of fear after an autopsy determined he suffered from an obscure brain disease—chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
The media pounced. Concern over player safety soon became a war on football at every level, with one scientist even declaring youth football “child abuse.”
Merril and Dr. Willeumier discuss his new book, BRAINWASHED, in this important two-part series that explores the scientific advancements in the area of CTE research.