Kellen Winslow, Jr. was supposed to help the Cleveland Browns, when he was drafted in 2004. He spent the first two years of his career basically riding the bench, after injuries kept him from playing – but thanks to him, the team almost went to the playoffs in 2007. He broke multiple records in 2009 when he was traded to the Bucs, but it wasn’t enough. He rode the bench again for the Seahawks in 2012, quit the Patriots after one game, and his career ended on the Jets in 2013.
We’re pointing this out because Kellen Winslow Jr. is a well-known name, an extraordinary player, and an alleged criminal: drug possession in 2014 (conditional discharge), felony burglary in early June (on bail) – and on June 14th, kidnapping and rape.
According to USA TODAY, “In total, Winslow faces nine charges and the prospect of the rest of his life in prison. The gruesome details of the alleged crimes in San Diego County also hint at one possible route his defense could take: Winslow, who spent nine seasons in the NFL, could suffer from the debilitating impacts of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).”
The importance of using CTE as a defense
First things first: there is still no definitive proof that Kellen Winslow Jr. has CTE. A way of diagnosing living patients may have finally been discovered, but it’s still in early stages. There is also no guarantee that the court will allow such a defense to move forward.
But the fact that his lawyers even want to try to use it tells us one very specific thing: If CTE can be used as a defense for criminal activity by this former football player, then there is no doubt football causes CTE.
CTE is an insidious disease, and it is entirely preventable. People do not get this condition unless they endure repeated blows to the head – even so-called “minor concussions” can lead to the build of up of tau that is indicative of CTE.
Parents, please – don’t let your kids play football
The research is clear: playing tackle football almost certainly will lead to developing CTE. New research is being done all the time, and your kids are at risk. It might not be the first tackle. It might not be the tenth. But it will happen.
Parents should look at each play in football as their child smoking one cigarette. It slowly causes damage to the child’s brain, one play (or one cigarette) at a time.
We know that once your child is 18, then he (or she) is legally an adult and can make decisions on his or her own. We know that there is nothing you can really do to force those decisions one way or the other. We know that kids will be kids, and that they will make choices that are dangerous or bad for them more than once, because everyone at that age thinks they’re invincible.
We know you love them.
We know you want to protect them.
We know that sports are always touted as a way to encourage team work, good sportsmanship, a sense of community, and a way to build character.
And we also know that football is going to kill your children. Maybe not on the first play. Maybe not on the 100th play. But eventually, it will.
Choose the future. Choose your children. Choose life.
Crandall & Pera Law will always fight to secure a better future: for you and for your children. If your child has sustained a brain injury playing football or another contact sport, we want to help. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced brain injury lawyer in Ohio or Kentucky, please call 877-686-8879 or fill out our contact form.
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