This post contains affiliate links. “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”
Dez Bryant, Su’a Cravens and other NFL figures call the NFL over the handling of CTE after Demaryius Thomas was posthumously diagnosed.
The news that former Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas suffered from Phase 2 CTE at the time of his death last December was met with sad news and calls for action from former and current NFL players on Tuesday.
Thomas probably died of a seizure unrelated to CTE, but he still spent the last year of his life showing more and more signs of the condition. Family members have described him struggling with depression, memory loss and paranoia among other symptoms.
After Boston University doctors released their findings from studying Thomas’ brain, former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant was one of those who felt the need to speak out.
Dez Bryant and others urge the NFL to take CTE seriously
“DT88 my heart is weak bro … there are many of us who live with CTE and the NFL knows it,” Bryant tweeted. “… most importantly, the athletes who have these symptoms are afraid to speak … 1 thing about me does not live a false life … my love and support for athletes is on a much deeper level than most .. . “
One athlete who was not afraid to talk about his games and the NFL’s lack of interest in them was former Broncos safety Su’a Cravens, and he really did not hold back.
“The NFL will continue to ignore how real this disease is,” Cravens said in a tweet thread.
“I have had my disability denied by the league 3 times because ‘there is no way to tell where my brain trauma is coming from due to playing football before the NFL’. They are literally wiping their hands of any responsibility.
“I’ve had 2 different non-NFL doctors determine that I was physically disabled due to the concussion I suffered in 2016 and almost lost my sight in my right eye. I was judged disabled by doctors, but The NFL denied me, saying there is simply no way to say it only came from my 2016 concussion.
“But if it happened on your watch, and the only time I almost went blind was to play professionally, how do you use the logic of ‘you were damaged before’ after saying I was healthy enough to pass 32? physical NFL Combine exams of every team in the league? I was good then? Wow smh. “
The recently retired Ravens safety also weighed in with a tweet that said, “CTE is genuine and should not be taken lightly.”
The NFL has programs that players can use during and after their playing careers, but there are valid questions about how easy it is for former athletes to get the help they need. There are even greater concerns about whether the league is doing enough to prevent the disease, which cannot be cured.
If Thomas had stage 2 CTE as a 33-year-old, it is almost certain that current professionals are currently playing with the disease.
With more than 300 former NFL players diagnosed with CTE after their deaths at Boston University, more needs to be done to prevent this number from growing exponentially.