Donald Trump says the NFL is “ruining football”. He was referring to a 15-yard penalty imposed on players that hit and/or tackle defenseless opponents unnecessarily hard. This has been a fairly long process since Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist and neuropathologist, first discovered and published his findings on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in 2005.

The NFL, and perhaps the nation, may not have been ready to soften the sport. I imagine the NFL feared losing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue as the sport was relegated to history.

It’s clear now that they are making changes to at least delay the inevitable.

Aaron Hernandez, Chris Benoit, and OJ Simpson might have more than sports in common

Chris Benoit was a professional wrestler from Canada that was on the top of the world. He had a beautiful family and a successful career. Then one day he killed his entire family and then himself. In his autopsy, it was discovered that he had been suffering from CTE.

I am just engaging in some slightly educated speculation, but I believe that OJ Simpson, an NFL running back who played for the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers, probably suffers from CTE which could have resulted in the double murder he was convicted of. Aaron Hernandez, former star tight end for the New England Patriots, who was convicted of murder and then committed suicide in prison, was later discovered, upon completion of an autopsy, to have stage three out of a total of four stages of CTE.

Doctors said it was the worst case of CTE they had ever seen in someone so young. He was 27.

But what is CTE really?

CTE is, in layman's terms, a resulting effect on the brain of repeated trauma over time. Because the damage from CTE can be anywhere in the brain and cover large areas of brain matter, the symptoms can be quite varied.

First stage symptoms, that usually occur between eight to ten years following repetitive mild traumatic brain injury, can be attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, confusion, disorientation, and headaches.

I won’t go into the later stages of CTE. Suffice it to say, that after it begins, there is a steady, if not rapid decline in cognitive function.

A person that was on the top of the world in their chosen sports career can almost be guaranteed that one day they will not likely recognize their own children. It’s being left up to them.

CTE is real, Trump is wrong, and America has a problem with violence

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is real folks! It’s dangerous! It’s not merely dangerous to those that play violent sports. Ultimately, it’s dangerous to those who love those who play violent sports, or anyone else that may cross their paths at the wrong time. The problem is that there has been no way to detect it outside of an autopsy. Researchers have, however, identified a biomarker for CTE that could lead to diagnosis before a case becomes terminal.

What does Donald Trump have to do with football?

To date, there have been over a hundred deceased NFL players brains discovered to have CTE. There have even been two high school footballers that were posthumously diagnosed with CTE. So when Donald Trump says something like, “The NFL is ruining football,” it’s not just that he seems to be an idiot.

He has a long history with football, wrestling and well, violence. His statement was in typical narcissistic Trump fashion and doesn’t really surprise me. But all that aside, he demonstrated the gist of the problem in living color and not just in football but in all violent sports; America’s need for violence simply overwhelms common sense and/or compassion. We need a change or we might implode.