Panthers tight end Greg Olsen has given a lot of thought to the risks of brain injury on the football field, and he’d like to learn more.
Olsen noted on PFT Live that studies showing CTE in the overwhelming majority of deceased NFL players are only one piece of an enormous puzzle linking football and brain damage.
“We have enough information now and by no means should it be suppressed, by no means should it be muted. As much information as we can learn, the better. It will better the game, it will better the lives of its players, both short term and long term,” Olsen said. “But at the same time, I think we also have to understand that there’s a lot more information that needs to come about. A lot more studies. Study the brains of non-football players. How come some guys can play 20 years in the league and live a normal life with no problems? How come some guys even on a short career can have long-term issues. I think there’s a lot of gray area. Is there legitimate concern? Of course. But is there a concrete, definitive answer that if you play football you’re going to have long-term effects? I don’t think we’re close to being there right now. I try not to be naive and I try to look at this thing pretty objectively. There are a lot of smart people out there that are looking into this, and I think they’d even be the first to say with some of these reports that there’s a lot of studies that still need to be done before this is conclusive in any way. They’ll continue to look into it and at the same time we’ll continue to take care of ourselves the best that we can.”
Olsen raises good questions, which can only be answered by more scientific research.