Diagnosed with CTE in Scott Vermillion, the first case in the sport in the United States

The late Scott Vermillion, a former MLS player, is now the first known case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (known as CTE) in American professional football, according to The New York Times.

Vermillion died at the age of 44 on December 25, 2020 from acute poisoning with alcohol and prescription drugs, according to his family, but doctors at Boston University discovered in late 2021 that Vermilion also suffered from Stage 2. CTE after examining his brain. That same year, doctors at Boston University also found that former San Francisco 49ers near Greg Clark also suffered from CTE before dying from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 49.

“Football is obviously a risk to CTE,” Dr Ann McKee, director of the CTE Center at Boston University, told the Times. “Not as much as football, but it’s obviously a risk.”

Due to the nature of CTE, it is impossible to know if a person is suffering from it until they are dead. But symptoms include memory loss, depression, and aggressive or impulsive behavior.

CTE has been a major topic of conversation in professional sports, especially in the NFL, for some time, but it is the first public diagnosis for him at the professional football level in the United States. The problem of football turmoil has become more noticeable over the last decade, as cases and defenders for better protocols have emerged over the years.

Patrick Grange, a 29-year-old amateur footballer, was the first person named with a CTE in 2014. Former New England Revolution star Taylor Twellman founded the THINKTaylor Foundation after his career as a player was derailed by a dangerous shock in 2010. He was one of The 300 athletes who promised to donate their brains to CTE research. National Football Hall of Fame Brandi Chastain also agreed to donate her brain.

“I hope this brings clarity to the Vermilion family in a very tragic experience for all involved,” Tuelman tweets Tuesday. “CTE is a real problem and to no one’s surprise the players are at risk. I hope we continue to develop and change for the better in our game.”

Calls for more protocols to prevent football turmoil

The football world does not neglect the prevention of shocks. American football banned headbutts in youth games and training in 2015, and English football introduced guidelines to target all levels of sport in mid-2021.

The International Football Association Council also approved the trial use of concussion substitutes starting in January 2021, which means that teams will receive an additional substitution if they withdraw a player from a match who has received a concussion or is suspected of having received one. . But the rules have never been fully used.

In response to the Times report, the MLS Players’ Association called on the league to fully adopt these concussion change protocols to prevent more players from suffering the fate of the Vermillion.

“Despite the danger to players’ health and safety, FIFA and FAB have adhered to outdated substitution rules that do not adequately protect players. immediately ”, MLSP the statement said.

“Current substitution rules do not give medical professionals enough time to properly diagnose potential shocks without putting the team at a significant competitive disadvantage. When a player suffers a potential brain injury on the field, he must be immediately removed from the game and fully evaluated by a doctor. During this diagnosis, the rules must allow a team to temporarily replace another player. The rule that is now being tested in MLS has loosened these switching rules somewhat, but it is not enough.

“Our industry needs to follow evolving science and make changes to the game to keep players safe. The first step is obvious.”

Vermillion appeared in 62 MLS games from 1998-2001. He played for the Kansas City Wizards (1998), Colorado Rapids (1999-2001) and DC United (2001) after a three-year career at the University of Virginia. Defender Vermillion scored three goals in his professional career before a prolonged ankle injury forced him to retire in 2001.

Scott Vermillion died in 2020, but was diagnosed with CTE in 2021 (Brian Bahr / ALLSPORT)

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