This morning on the NFL Network, Pittsburgh Steelers team neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph C. Maroon (who has held that role for 20 years) weighed in on the recent topic of head trauma in football which has drawn an even brighter spotlight over the last few days after the retirement of 24-year old 49ers linebacker Chris Borland, who cited the risk of head trauma outweighed other benefits of playing in the NFL, including money.
His comments have caused quite the stir on Twitter, and for good reason because it's a hot topic right now. Remember that study from the Mayo Clinic we uncovered back in February that cited that playing high school football was just as safe as band, glee club or choir?
Well Dr. Maroon's statement on NFL Network this morning walked along those same lines, noting that riding a bike or skateboarding is much more dangerous than playing youth football.
Dr. Maroon went on to say that CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), the progressive degenerative disease that has been linked to former NFL players, is a phenomenon that is "over exaggerated".
Opinions on this among those in the coaching profession are going to vary across the board, but regardless of your stance, it's something that we should all be aware of.
When people look back on Borland's retirement announcement 10 or 20 years from now it will be seen as a landmark move for the sport, and it has already forced everyone from youth coaches, to team doctors, to college and NFL coaches to face the reality that this is an issue for football that isn't going away. How we unite and deal with it moving forward is the real question.