CTE & Football By: Makayla Bjork

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

A progressive degenerative brain disease caused by repeated hits to the head where the TAU protein deteriorates your brain cells.




His mind betrayed him.
I felt like a lot of my actions were not me.
His brain could not function enough to know that he could put a jacket on if he was cold. He was currently, totally, and permanently disabled.


  • Memory Loss
  • Mood Swings
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Aggression & Lack of Impulse Control

Frontal Lobe Changes:

  • Errors in Judgement
  • Lack of Concentration
  • Inability to Think Clearly

Medial Temporal Lobe Changes:

  • Memory
  • Emotions
  • Rage
In Football, the number one thing we cheer for is a touchdown, the second is an "awesome" hard hit.
The longer you play football, the higher at risk you are for this disease.

Some of the former NFL players that were diagnosed with CTE and died due to the effects this disease took on their body:

  • Mike Webster
  • Andre Waters
  • Terry Long
  • Ralph Wenzel
  • Ken Stabler
  • Tyler Sash
  • Frank Gifford
  • Junior Seau

Football is not going to go away, but we can change the rules and the protocol on concussions.

Local Opinion

Youth athletes are at increased risk for lasting neurocognitive and developmental deficits that can result in behavioral disturbances and diminished academic performance.
  • Pop Warner, the world’s largest youth football organization, has seen its numbers decline, in the last few years.
  • New research, linking Football and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, brings up concerns for hundreds of thousands of parents who are now struggling with a difficult ethical issue: should kids play Football?
  • Parents have an obligation to help children develop the capacities required for autonomous choice, but the risks involved when playing football establish a strong presumption against allowing kids to play the game.
Kids should not play Football.

Deeper thinking

Should Sioux Central stop playing MYFL youth tackle football because it poses an increased risk of brain trauma?

In my opinion, Sioux Central should not have an MYFL league of Tackle football and here is why:

  1. Repeated Hits
  2. Different Sizes of Boys, for they are all growing at different times. In high school it is different, because everyone has matched size or built up most of their strength.
  3. Concussion
  4. Injuries
  5. Not getting to know the game before you play. The focus is always "TACKLE!"
  6. Because of the different weights and growth rates of kids, there are rules that they can only be in certain positions. This basically sets them up for one or two positions, which is not fair. They do not get to move around and see where they fit best.
My brother used to play for the Rebels MYFL Tackle Football Leauge, but he was not getting much out of it. The coaches did not care, or did not seem to show that they cared about each one of them as individuals. His dream is to play Quarterback, but because of his height and weight that comes with it, he could not fill his dream position. Therefore, the following year, he moved onto Flag Football at Pocohantas. There, he was able to play any position, learn the techniques, meet new and great players, and be happy. Max was finally able to be Quarterback, and he was phenomenal. I cannot wait to watch this boy grow up and see what he does with his talent and hard work. This lil Raven will also be doing flag football this year as well.
I believe that Sioux Central should not allow for athletes to be exposed to such trauma at a young age. Therefore, the solution is to stop Tackle Football and start up a Flag Football leauge just like Pocohantas. They have very young kids all the way to sixth graders in the leauge. This would stop potential head and brain damage from developing at an early age.

Works Cited:

  • (n.d.). Retrieved March 03, 2017, from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/league-of-denial/
  • I. (2013, October 04). Retrieved March 01, 2017, from https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dsRLGqJ2niQ
  • (2015, December 10). Retrieved March 02, 2017, from https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UrZdikUdVmA
  • H. (2015, February 05). Retrieved February 27, 2017, from https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WwVY8ShWP8k&list=PLPwwAjhEP1vW_lbBD9N-qslz0yJsET5DO
  • C. (2016, February 03). Retrieved February 28, 2017, from https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iBLYs-pDaQY
  • G. (2017, January 10). Retrieved February 27, 2017, from https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9TrCZcsSyA8
  • Findler, P. (2015, August 26). Should Kids Play (American) Football? Retrieved March 03, 2017, from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00948705.2015.1079132?src=recsys
  • Gilbert, F., Syd, L., & Johnson, M. (2011, October 18). The Impact of American Tackle Football-Related Concussion in Youth Athletes. Retrieved March 03, 2017, from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21507740.2011.611125?scroll=top&needAccess=true
Created By
Makayla Bjork


Created with images by Phil Roeder - "Iowa Loses to Wisconsin" • Ryan_M651 - "Depression" • BrookLorin - "broken arm broken hurt" • geralt - "burnout exhausted alone" • keijj44 - "football american football running back" • Phil Roeder - "Iowa Loses to Wisconsin" • The U.S. Army - "hawaii"

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