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A brand new Netflix documentary about former New England Patriots tight finish Aaron Hernandez highlights how mind trauma is affecting the NFL’s gamers.

Whereas “Killer Inside: The Thoughts of Aaron Hernandez” doesn’t blame continual traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) for Hernandez’s felony conduct — or the homicide of Odin Lloyd, which Hernandez was sentenced to life in jail for — the documentary does give perception into how the untreatable illness impacts NFL gamers for the remainder of their lives.

By means of interviews with legal professionals, Hernandez’s associates, and former NFL gamers, the documentary tells tales of CTE, which may solely be recognized after demise.

Chris Borland, a former 49ers linebacker who retired after only one yr within the league over fears of the longterm results of head accidents, stated in an interview that he was experiencing signs of concussions — together with ringing within the ears and imbalance — each day.

“In my minimal interactions with people excessive within the NFL, I feel there is a sure diploma of hubris. You recognize, they personal a day of the week,” he informed “Killer Inside” filmmakers. “Soccer’s a faith.”

“Regardless of whether or not or not they’re throwing a flag, or claiming concussions are down, or taking gamers into the blue tent, the rationale soccer is the preferred sport is as a result of it is violent,” he added, referencing penalty flags for helmet hits, and the blue medical analysis tents on the sidelines of NFL video games. “They are not within the well being enterprise. They’re within the violence enterprise.”

The documentary covers the CTE diagnoses of Mike Webster and Junior Seau

In this 1988 season file photo is Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster

Pittsburgh Steelers middle Mike Webster pictured within the 1988 season.
AP Photograph/Gene J. Puskar, File

Earlier than delving into Hernandez’s personal CTE analysis, the documentary highlights the diagnoses of Mike Webster, who was the primary former NFL participant to be recognized with the illness after he died of a coronary heart assault in 2002, and Junior Seau, who was recognized after he died by capturing himself within the chest in 2012.

Retired Patriots cornerback Leigh Bodden advised filmmakers he wasn’t shocked at Hernandez’s CTE analysis as a result of he had already recognized what occurred to Seau, one other Patriots teammate.

“Having CTE be the sort of factor they each shared is eye-opening to athletes and to everyone within the soccer world,” he stated.

As extra individuals study concerning the issues CTE may cause, extra gamers are retiring from the NFL early. 

Researchers have proven that head hits in youth sports activities improve the danger of creating CTE. One other research has proven that gamers are at a better danger in the event that they play longer.

Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly introduced his retirement on Wednesday at simply 28, saying it was the “proper factor to do.”

New England Patriots Junior Seau speaks to reporters before training at the Oval Cricket Ground ahead of their NFL game against Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London October October 23, 2009

New England Patriots Junior Seau speaks to reporters earlier than coaching on the Oval Cricket Floor forward of their NFL recreation towards Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London October October 23, 2009
REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

The NFL says it helps scientific analysis into CTE, pledging $one hundred million into unbiased research in 2016. After Boston College’s CTE Middle launched a research in 2017, which discovered proof of the illness in one hundred ten out of 111 former gamers, the NFL issued a press release saying the analysis added worth “within the ongoing quest for a greater understanding of CTE” however stated there are “unanswered questions referring to the trigger, incidence, and prevalence of lengthy-time period results of head trauma reminiscent of CTE.”

Hernandez had ‘superior’ CTE when he died by suicide in 2017

When Hernandez’s mind was examined after his dying in 2017, Ann McKee, a neuropathologist and professional in neurodegenerative illness at Boston College’s CTE middle, stated his analysis was superior.

“He had a really superior illness. And never solely was it superior microscopically, particularly within the frontal lobes, that are essential for determination making, judgment, and cognition,” she stated in “Killer Inside.”

Patrick Haggan, the prosecutor on Hernandez’s second trial informed interviewers in “Killer Inside” that he researched CTE after listening to about Hernandez’s analysis.

“I began to take a look at the indicators of CTE — impulsiveness, rash selections, typically propensity to be violent. It was Aaron Hernandez,” he stated within the documentary. “And in the event you take a look at every part that this younger man had happening — not solely bodily, however mentally, emotionally, from what had occurred when he was a toddler, and what had occurred in his personal life, then on prime of it you add the CTE — all of it made sense that this tragedy had in all probability begun, or the seeds of this tragedy had began many, a few years earlier.”

Former NFL player Aaron Hernandez and defense attorney Charles Rankin wait in the courtroom during the jury deliberation in his murder trial at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts, April 10, 2015..JPG

Former NFL participant Aaron Hernandez and protection lawyer Charles Rankin wait within the courtroom through the jury deliberation in his homicide trial on the Bristol County Superior Courtroom in Fall River, Massachusetts, April 10, 2015.
REUTERS/CJ Gunther/Pool

Jermaine Wiggins, a former New England Patriots tight finish, believes there was one thing worse happening with Hernandez, and that CTE wasn’t accountable for his crimes.

“I feel it is a cop-out [to blame CTE],” he stated in “Killer Inside.” “There are literally thousands of former soccer gamers on the market which may have handled concussions. I’ve handled them. So to make use of that as a cop-out? No, we’re smarter than that, individuals.”

Within the “Killer Inside” phase on CTE, filmmakers included an previous native TV interview of Patriots proprietor Robert Kraft the place he encourages individuals to nonetheless play soccer.

“My sons and grandson performed, I performed, and I might advocate to each different mom on the market who needs their son to develop up particular that they need to play too,” he stated.

For those who or somebody you recognize is battling melancholy or has had ideas of harming themselves or taking their very own life, get assist. The Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) supplies 24/7, free, confidential help for individuals in misery, in addition to greatest practices for professionals and assets to assist in prevention and disaster conditions.


Aaron Hernandez
New England Patriots

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