Ninety-nine percent, that's how many brains of ex-NFL Players in a study, published Tuesday, showed signs of the neuro-degenerative brain disease CTE.
This is a fate many former NFL players are facing. One of them, former Buffalo Bill Joe Delamielleure, says he is suffering from the condition. He played for 13 years and never missed a game. He repeatedly hit with his head every game and practice. He says the results of the study, should not be ignored.
A lot of the people who were confirmed to have CTE, had been playing football since their youth.
The Orchard Park Little Loop Football league is gearing up for their season. Tuesday, they were fitting their kids with equipment. That means parents, like Nicole White are making sure their kids are prepared for another season. White is in a little different position than other parents.
“She's the only girl,” said White. “She is so tiny. So, it is extremely important to make sure the helmet fits properly. So, if she does get hit, she's protected.”
That's a feeling other parents know well. So, the player safety coach for OPLLF, Aaron Glauser, says he does everything in his power to keep kids safe.
“The critical part of training today, is to get the head out of the way,” said Glauser.
Glauser has gone through training to make sure every helmet fits appropriately. But, it's more than just the equipment that will keep kids safe.
“What we're teaching this year is called leverage and shoulder tackling. It's very similar to a rugby style tackle,” added Glauser.
Glauser read the report about CTE. He believes there will always be risks, but says injuries can be limited with proper training.
“There is no such thing as a concussion proof sport, but we're committed here in Orchard Park to make it as safe as possible for our children and our community,” said Glauser.
An important note about this study. It says 99% of the NFL players tested, tested positive for CTE. All of the brains tested were given to researchers by the families of the players because they suspected their loved one showed signs of the disease.