Letter: Brain injury hits home with Steve Gleason

On Aug. 21, 2012, Steve Gleason gave an interview to the New York Times. The interview pertained to the incident on Sept. 25, 2006. The football game was the first one played at home since Katrina. Steve Gleason blocked a kick, and the ball was taken by a Saints player and carried to the winning touchdown.

What most people don’t realize is the possible cause of his progressive and terminal disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. During the interview, Gleason was asked how many times he was knocked out while playing football. He answered, “Twice.” He was then asked how many times he had his “bell rung?” He answered, “Probably, hundreds of times,”

The speed of a football upon being kicked is approximately 40 meters per second. That converts to approximately 90 miles per hour. A group of doctors noticed that a particular group of young men were being diagnosed with ALS — former players in the NFL. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a neurological disease, and damage to the brain is a potential cause.

Many lawsuits have been filed against the NFL for long-term health problems as a result of playing football. Players are not removed from the game after these injuries occur. They actually should be, and put through thorough neurological examination to test for the ability to get back on the field ... in just about all sports.

Paul Delaup

Internet security consultant