The Impact of the NFL: Deaths, Cognitive Decline, and Irrational Behaviors - A Concussion Movie Analysis

Published: 2023-11-04
The Impact of the NFL: Deaths, Cognitive Decline, and Irrational Behaviors - A Concussion Movie Analysis
Essay type:  Analytical essays
Categories:  Sport Movie Behavior
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1023 words
9 min read


The Concussion movie (2015) shows how the NFL causes severe injuries to the American Footballers’ heads, weakening their lifetime due to repeated concussions. Dr. Bennet Omalu, a pathologist in this movie, discovered that the football sport leads to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) related to brain trauma after having medical research on Mike Webster’s death. Omalu associated the Webster’s death with CTE caused by repeated head blows experienced during the playing. At the beginning of the movie, the NFL ignores his medical reports, and he is even barred from a player safety committee. However, at the end of the film, NFL players come to understand the truth about the effects of playing football on the human head. The NFL should be banned because it causes CTE as a result of repeated ball head blows, which leads to death, deteriorated cognitive abilities, and irrational behaviors.

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The NFL should be banned because it leads to players’ death as a result of long-term repeated effects of blows to the head. As per this movie, the soccer game has caused several players’ deaths due to brain injuries. For instance, the CTE caused by the football playing, led Webster to degenerate quickly hence having a heart attack, which led to his death. Other players like Andre Waters, Terry Long, and Justin Strzelczyk had similar symptoms as Webster’s, which led to their deaths. Thus, if the NFL will not be banned, the death rate of the players will continue to accelerate. As witnessed in this movie, players do hit the balls with their heads often and hard, which causes long term effects on their brains, and as they age, the situation becomes critical, resulting in their deaths. Besides the deaths caused directly by brain injuries, the CTE has led many players to commit suicides, thus increasing the number of deaths among the NFL footballers. According to Henry, Tremblay, and De Beaumont (576), repeated concussions make the players have lasting brain injuries, which affect the brain functioning and increase the risks of mood disorders, which can lead to suicidal motives. For instance, in the movie, Duerson committed suicide because of the incapacitated ability to cope with deteriorating cognitive function. Therefore, the NFL should be banned because it leads to the deaths of the players.

Deteriorated Cognitive Abilities

The NFL should be banned because it deteriorates the cognitive abilities of the players as a CTE effect. In this case, the football players are at great perils of developing neurodegenerative disorders due to the numerous concussions attributed to the incapability to facilitate sanities and brain functions. In the Concussion movie, before the death of Justin Strzelczyk, Webster’s former colleague player, had confided in Webster that he was starting to lose his mind. Justin revealed that he could not remember his memories well. Thus, the concussions cause executive function underperformances, concentration shortfalls, and memory deficits. Nordström et al. (47) argue that the retired NFL players’ rate of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia was approximately 2% between the age of 30 to 40 and about 5% higher in the 50s and above compared to the people of the equivalent epoch in the general US population. This statistic implies a fundamental relation between the recurrent head damages and brain ailments in football players. Besides, the concussions’ effect on the thinking capacities of the players increases the chances of the NFL players making unreasonable decisions to commit suicides. Therefore, it is necessary to ban the NFL because it affects the cognitive abilities of the players.

Irrational Behaviors

The NFL should be banned because it leads to irrational behaviors due to multiple concussions. With the repeated concussions experienced in the NFL, the players’ emotional state may be affected, facilitating to depression, anxiety, and grumpiness. These disorders can help the NFL players act illogically, thus leading to poor relationship with family and friends. For instance, in the Concussion movie, Strzelczyk revealed that he was uttering old stuff to his children, and he almost threw his wife against a wall, an action that was linked to CTE. This action led him to have a poor relationship with his family. Nor his children of his wife could trust him anymore. Therefore, it is necessary to ban the NFL to save the players from destroying the relationships they have with their families and friends. According to Yengo-Kahn et al. (804), in a study of 2552 NFL retired players, there was a significant connection between numerous concussions and diagnosis of lifespan depression. In the same study, the players exhibited a higher percentage of depression, anxiety, and irritability than the general US population. This study supported the idea that concussion effects are elevated among NFL players.


In conclusion, the NFL should be banned because it leads to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, resulting in deaths, deterioration of cognitive abilities, and the irrational behaviors of the footballers. The head blows and fast twisting of the heads lead to brain injuries, which may later result in death. As players age, they may develop problems with their cognitive abilities, making them make irrational decisions and actions that may endanger their relationship with them. Besides, it is crucial to ban the NFL because it leads to the CTL, which can make the players get depressed. In this situation, the footballers might feel discouraged about the things going on in their lives and lose interest of living, which can lead to suicidal motives. Thus, according to the Concussion movie, there are valid reasons why the NFL should be banned.

Works Cited

Henry, L. C., Tremblay, S., & De Beaumont, L. (2017). Long-term effects of sports concussions: bridging the neurocognitive repercussions of the injury with the newest neuroimaging data. The Neuroscientist, 23(5), 567-578.

Nordström, Anna, N. Feddermann-Demont, and Peter Nordström. “Mind Your Head: Potential Short-and Long-Term Effects of Concussion in Sport.” ESSKA Instructional Course Lecture Book. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2020. 47-51.

Yengo-Kahn, A. M., Johnson, D. J., Zuckerman, S. L., & Solomon, G. S. (2016). Concussions in the National Football League: a current concepts review. The American journal of sports medicine, 44(3), 801-811.

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The Impact of the NFL: Deaths, Cognitive Decline, and Irrational Behaviors - A Concussion Movie Analysis. (2023, Nov 04). Retrieved from

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