NRL official’s shocking admission that several current players suffer from CTE but continue to play because they need the money: ‘You have to make money in this world to survive’
- NRL star Nelson Asofa-Solomona fears for his post-football future
- Melbourne Storm stalwart believes many current players have CTE
- He revealed that many continue to play due to life commitments.
- CTE is a progressive brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head
- If you need help contact Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
Melbourne Storm manager Nelson Asofa-Solomona believes many current NRL stars suffer from symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the brain – but continue to play the sport because they need the money.
Asofa-Solomona, 27, made his NRL debut in 2015 and the Kiwi international admits he is “scared” for his life after football.
It comes after rugby league’s Immortal Wally Lewis was recently diagnosed with probable CTE and the late Paul Green suffered from serious symptoms which are believed to have contributed to his sudden death last August.
South Sydney legend Mario Fenech, Canterbury’s Steve Mortimer and Eels warrior Ray Price are other former football stars battling early dementia stemming from their uncompromising playing years.
And now Asofa-Solomona, who will make his boxing debut in Townsville in October, admits he fears the worst.
Nelson Asofa-Solomona believes many current NRL stars suffer from brain symptoms of CTE – but continue to play the sport because they need the money.
Rugby league’s Immortal Wally Lewis was recently diagnosed with probable CTE
“I honestly think a lot of us (NRL players) already have CTE to be honest,” he said.
“The amount of head-to-head clashes in the game today is huge…and you only see those things on game day. “Then there are the things we do in training.
“It’s hard to comment because this (CTE and brain injury research) is something very new in the sports world at the moment.
“It’s pretty scary, that’s for sure.”
Kiwi International also said providing for his family was of paramount personal importance.
“You have to make money in this world to survive,” he said.
“We have mortgages to pay, food to put on the table, children and families to support.
“You ask any of the boys: if they won the Lotto tomorrow, would they still play football? I think a lot of them would probably say no.
Paul Green (pictured left, with the late cricketer Andrew Symonds) had a stellar rugby league career but privately suffered from mental health issues
The family of NRL legend Paul Green have found some comfort after learning he was suffering from an advanced form of CTE at the time of his death last year.
Green was just 49 when he died, with news rocking the NRL last August
Lewis revealed in July that doctors were 90 per cent sure he had developed ETC, which cannot be fully confirmed until the person dies.
His partner Linda Adams knew something was wrong after the Queensland Origin legend told the same stories over and over again.
Lewis’ grim diagnosis was all but confirmed by his doctor Rowena Mobb, after performing a simple memory test.
Following the death of fellow Queenslander Green, it was revealed that he had privately suffered from mental health issues for almost two decades due to his playing years.
He was only 49 years old.
If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.
What is ETC?
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive brain disease.
It is believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head and repeated episodes of concussion.
CTE is particularly associated with contact sports, such as leagues, combat sports, and American football.
Most available studies are based on former athletes.
But, shockingly, it is also found in people with military training and those who have experienced repeated episodes of domestic violence.
Many consider ETC to be a more widely understood version of an age-old condition known as “punch drunk syndrome.”