The NFL currently has plenty of scandals on their hands. While still dealing with the fallout from Adrian Peterson’s domestic abuse and initial mishandling of the situation, news has surfaced that Jovan Belcher has been posthumously diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Belcher was a former NFL player who killed his girlfriend and then himself in 2012.
With the seemingly high rates of violent crime and head injuries in the league, many have openly asked if the two issues may be more closely linked than previously thought. Now, “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” is going to explore that exact question in a new episode airing Oct. 21 on HBO.
The channel has released a preview clip of the episode, viewable below, which features Non Frankel speaking with Chelsea Oliver, the widow of Paul Oliver. Paul was a former safety for the San Diego Chargers whose suicide in front of his family last year is one of the most terrifying deaths related to CTE. Before his death, Chelsea says Paul had also become abusive.
Paul was diagnosed with CTE following his death.
If abuse similar to Oliver’s and Peterson’s can be linked to the NFL, it raises numerous interesting questions. For one, the most common defense of letting the sport continue in light of high brain injury rates is the age of claim of “they knew what they were signing up for.” But, the same cannot be said for wives, children, and others affected by abuse.
I’m sure Real Sports will provide a fair amount of answers in their episode, but it will undoubtably bring up just as many new questions.