Merril Hoge: “I just wanted to get answers and find out if football was really causing CTE. I went to as many neuropathologists as I could find for answers. I’d ask them the same thing: ‘Explain CTE to me’. Everyone one of them would start out with this: ‘We are in an observation state, we don’t know what causes it, and we don’t know what it causes’… I read in the news all the time that football causes this and they’re like ‘There could be nothing further from the truth. There is no scientific evidence of it and how it is caused’. We have people who have never played sports that have had it, people who have never had a concussion who have had it, and people who have never had a history of head trauma that have had it. We’ve found the pattern in three-month olds, we’ve found the pattern in three-year-olds, and we have a 100 cases in the medical journal that have the pattern who haven’t even been involved in sports. And I was like, wait, why haven’t we heard about this??” (FULL AUDIO AT BOTTOM OF PAGE)
Listen to former NFL running back and ESPN analyst Merril Hoge join The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker to discuss his book titled ‘Brainwashed: The Bad Science Behind CTE and the Plot to Destroy Football’, that was released last October.
The topic of head injuries and contact sports has been one of the most controversial debates of the last decade, as the neurodegenerative disease CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) has come to the forefront as one of the most startling medical discoveries of the era.
Studies on brain injuries due to blunt force during athletic competition have been around for almost 100 years, but it wasn’t until Dr. Bennet Omalu published a paper titled ‘Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in a National Football League Player’ about former NFL player Mike Webster, that the term ‘CTE’ became widely disseminated in mainstream sports parlance.
Webster was a Hall of Fame Steelers center who was the first player ever officially diagnosed with CTE. Webster died at the age of 50 in 2002.
Omalu’s discoveries led to the NFL starting a revolutionary new era of player safety that aimed to make its game safer.
Hoge, however, doesn’t agree with many of the commonly-accepted findings on the disease that he believes continue to be misleadingly circulated throughout the public.
Hoge says CTE is still an incredibly unexplained condition, and believes the findings he has compiled from neuropathologists across the country prove that there is no scientific evidence that football causes CTE. Hoge says ANYONE can have CTE, regardless of whether they ever played a contact sport or not.
Check out the full telling interview below: