Ex-player says head injuries misread

Associated Press


Former NFL Alumni Association President George Martin told a concussion conference Friday the injury is a scourge in contact sports with long-term consequences still widely underestimated.

“We need to take off the veil,” Martin said. “I’ve attended far too many funerals lately for teammates and colleagues who have unfortunately succumbed to CTE.”

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including concussions.

Martin was the keynote speaker at the Ultimate Concussion Conference, a gathering of experts and policymakers in sports administration, law, education and health, including neuroscience and neuropsychology. About 80 people were expected for the three-day event.

“I always felt there was a lack of communication between disciplines, so I said, ‘Let’s start a meeting that does this,”’ said co-organizer Dr. Don Teig, an expert in sports vision from Ridgefield, Connecticut. “A lot of players are so thrilled we’re doing this, because the subject had been pushed aside and buried. My goal was not to bury it anymore, and build it into something that lets people who are looking to come up with answers share their ideas.”

Martin played defensive end for the New York Giants from 1975 to 1988.