In an attempt to reduce the number of concussions their players suffer NFL owners adopted a new rule on March 22. The change comes in response to recent studies showing just how devastating multiple traumatic brain injuries can be, and continued pressure on the league from former players and their families to better support the men who damage their bodies in the name of entertainment.
The rule change was designed to reduce the number of times players hit one another with the crowns of their helmets, although many players were skeptical it would make any real difference in protecting players.
Frontline and ESPN worked together to calculate how many concussions occurred during the 2012-2013 NFL season; they identified 170, but multiple studies have suggested that hits less serious than concussions also contribute to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, the degenerative brain condition that affected players such as Junior Seau, the former NFL star who committed suicide in 2012 and donated his brain to researchers working on traumatic brain injuries.
On January 26’s episode of Up w/ Chris Hayes, Chris spoke with former Philadelphia Eagles running back Kevin Turner and Mary Ann Easterling, widow of Atlanta Falcons defensive back Ray Easterling, to talk about living with the destructive effects of a career in football. Ta-Nehisi Coates, writer for The Atlantic, and neurologist Teena Shetty, consulting physician for the New York Giants, later joined the conversation.
Watch this weekend’s Up w/ Chris Hayes for more of the show’s best segments.