By Emily Giangreco
So far, three high school football players have died from injuries sustained in the field of play, and Hollywood is catching on to player safety at the professional level through the December release of the film, Concussion, starring Will Smith.
PBS' Frontline reported that a joint study performed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University has found that in 87 of 91 former NFL players, who donated their brains to science after death, tested positive for a brain disease that is believed to be linked with repeated head trauma and concussions.
The disease researchers discovered, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE, is a progressive degenerative brain disease found in some athletes with a history of repetitive brain trauma.
Although CTE cannot be tested for until the patient is deceased, the disease can start forming at a young age when children and adolescents begin to engage in contact sports.
However, programs like Heads up Football are starting to be implemented from youth teams to high school to contain the risk of repeated head trauma. Athletic administrators in Fairfax County, Virginia have noticed a significant difference since they started using the Heads Up technique.
Yet, for much of the nation that considers football its number one sport, many are anticipating "Concussion" to be a scathing critique of how the National Football League has handled concussions for many retired players, while others hope that this film will help spread awareness on an issue that's been swept under the rug.