The late Scott Vermillion, a former MLS player, is currently the first known case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (known as CTE) in American professional football. New York Times.
Vermillion died at the age of 44 on December 25, 2020 from acute alcohol and prescription drug poisoning, according to his family, but Boston University doctors discovered in late 2021 that Vermillion also suffered from stage 2 CTE after examining his brain. That same year, Boston University doctors also discovered that former San Francisco 49ers tight end Greg Clark had also suffered from CTE before he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 49.
“Football clearly poses a risk to CTE,” Dr. Ann McKee, director of the CTE Center at Boston University, told the Times. “Not as big as football, but a clear risk.”
Due to the nature of CTE, it is impossible to know if a person is suffering from it until they have already died. But symptoms include memory loss, depression, and aggressive or impulsive behavior.
CTE has been a major topic of discussion in professional sports for some time now, especially in the NFL, but this is the first public diagnosis at the professional football level in the United States. The problem of concussions in football has become more prominent in the last decade as cases and advocates for improved protocols have emerged over the years.
Patrick Grange, a 29-year-old amateur football player, was first named person with CTE in 2014. Former New England Revolution star Taylor Twellman created THINK Taylor Foundation after his playing career was derailed by a dangerous concussion in 2010. was one of 300 athletes who pledged to donate their brains to CTE research.. National Football Hall of Fame member Brandi Chastain also agreed to donate her brain.
“I hope this clears up for the Vermillion family a very tragic experience for everyone involved,” Twelman said. tweeted Tuesday. “CTE is a real problem and it comes as no surprise to anyone that footballers are in danger. I hope we continue to evolve and change for the better in our game.”
Calls for more protocols to prevent concussions in football
The football world does not neglect the prevention of concussions. American football prohibited titles in games and practices for young players in 2015 and English football introduced guidelines for headings at all levels sports in mid-2021.
The International Football Association Board has also approved trial use of concussion substitutes starting in January 2021, meaning teams will be given an additional substitute if they pull a player who has or is suspected of having a concussion from a match. But the rules were never fully used.
In response to the Times report, the MLS Players Association urged the league to fully adopt these concussion replacement protocols to help prevent the fate of Vermillion for more players.
“Despite the danger to the health and safety of players, FIFA and the FAB are clinging to outdated substitution rules that do not adequately protect players. We shouldn’t sit and wait for them to do the right thing. MLS must unilaterally adopt a full concussion substitution rule.” immediately, MLSPA said in a statement.
“Existing replacement rules do not give medical professionals enough time to properly diagnose potential concussions without putting the team at a significant disadvantage. When a player sustains a potential brain injury on the field, they must be immediately removed from the game and fully assessed by a doctor. During this diagnosis, the rules should allow a team to temporarily substitute another player. The rule currently being tested in MLS weakened these substitution rules somewhat, but This is not enough.
“Our industry must follow the development of science and make changes to the game to ensure the safety of players. The first step is obvious.”
Vermillion appeared in 62 MLS games from 1998 to 2001. He played for the Kansas City Wizards (1998), Colorado Rapids (1999-2001) and DC United (2001) after a three-year career at the University of Virginia. Vermillion, a defender, scored three goals in his professional career before a lingering ankle injury forced him to retire in 2001.