BOSTON (CBS) — The doctor who discovered CTE believes that letting anyone under 18 years old play football should be considered child abuse.

Dr. Bennet Omalu, a neuropathologist and expert in the study of the effects of concussions, recently reacted to the study that found 110 of 111 former NFL players who had their brains donated suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). He said that letting children play football is the definition of “child abuse,” and doesn’t believe there is any way to make the sport safer.

“Someday there will be a district attorney who will prosecute for child abuse [on the football field], and it will succeed,” Omalu said during an event in New York, according to Sports Illustrated. “It is the definition of child abuse.

“If you play football, and if your child plays football, there is a 100 percent risk exposure. There is nothing like making football safer. That’s a misnomer,” Omalu continued.

Dr. Bennet Omalu. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Omalu’s life and findings on concussions was recently dramatized in the movie “Concussion,” with Will Smith portraying Omalu on the big screen. Omalu doesn’t believe there is anything the NFL can do to make the game safer for its players, and even if there was, the league would only be focused on their own bottom line.

“The league is a corporation,” he said. “What do corporations do? Make money. They’re not there to provide health care or perform research. That is not what they’re there to do. They’re selling product. … If they feel the need to make any changes, they’re making calculated changes that will enhance their bottom line.”

Comments (72)
  1. I’m old-fashioned. I played baseball, football, and basketball as a kid, but never in a Halloween costume pretending to be a professional player like the kids in the leagues today. If we had 10 kids on our block, we had two baseball teams. Sometimes the same kids played for both sides. A little kid was given a “two-count” head start if he connected so he could reach 1st base. The baseball field was the street or any open area a tennis ball could fly. Football was anyone who wanted to play at any position. Basketball the same. Sides were chosen by flipping a coin or grabbing a bat and doing “handsies”. It didn’t matter who won because everyone eventually got on a side that won. We had a lot of fun. We actually “played” the game. When my kids were growing up, my wife got into “sports” and signed them up for everything. They had to get uniforms. They had rules. They had coaches. The had little grandstands for the parents. It was a total joke. Adults got into fights and sometimes with the little kids or the referees. The kids? Some never played because they weren’t good enough. I can’t remember ever seeing kids simply playing the game on their own without those dumb uniforms. I never heard any kid calling up my sons and saying, “let’s play some baseball”. We had a 10 acre parcel with four flat acres and the kids never thought to play football or baseball on it. Totally stupid. If you didn’t join a “league”, you didn’t play baseball or football. The concepts of “fun”, “game”, and “play” have disappeared along with a lot of great childhood.

  2. So it’s not okay to play football – A sport that has been pretty much a part of human civilization in some form or another; but it’s okay to warp a child into a transgender freak? Yeah society is wacked. Like all great civilizations of the past the rise was spectacular the fall was just as epic. And always led by some dipstick like this.

    If the fighters of the free world had known that this is what this country would eventually look like – I wonder if they would have fought so hard for that freedom? What good was fighting for freemen if it was just to turn them into a bunch of p*ssies.

    Tis sad to watch great nations fall because they allow their ignorant government and it’s people to force even more insane and ignorant chains on people. Glad I don’t have kids. At least it will be me that has to watch the transition of foolishness.

    Why exactly did America forsake God – a creator of wrath and righteousness? If anything the belief in God kept people in line. Now people believe in far more harmful illusions.

  3. I think it is more likely that people like this Dr will be sued for violation of people’s civil rights. His advocacy would deprive thousands of minorities the right to earn a significantly higher standard of living. The NFL is 70% composed of minorities, and has produced more minority millionaires than any other business. Banning them from playing football would deprive them of the opportunity of that success.

  4. DonQuixote says:

    I don’t agree with this Dr. Many, many children play all kinds of sports. Children involved in hockey, soccer, and boxing are just as susceptible to concussions. Also, there is a big difference between a 7-year-old being tackled by another 7-year-old vs grown men hitting each other. Kids should be kids. We can’t ban everything that might be dangerous (autos for example).

    Don Quixote | Concussion Place | Concussion Treatment Colorado Springs

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