Rob Gronkowski suffered a number of significant injuries during his NFL career, and many of them were to his head. Concussions and head trauma have become sensitive topics across the football world in recent years with more being learned about CTE, but Gronk says the condition is curable.
Gronkowski surprised some people this week when he said he would allow his son to play football if he had one. The former New England Patriots tight end retired at the age of 29 because his body broke down, but he told Reena Ninan of CBS News that he wouldn’t mind his son playing football because “any injury you receive is fixable.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 12, 2019
Gronk didn’t specifically mention the degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. However, he estimated that he sustained 20 concussions while playing football, and CTE expert Chris Nowinski commended Gronkowski for talking about it but said CTE “cannot be fixed.” Gronk disagreed and said he is living proof that “it is fixable.”
It is fixable. I fixed mine. There are plenty of methods in this world that allow the brain to recover from severe damage. That is also why I would allow my kid to play football. https://t.co/9aI1olAdqP
— Rob Gronkowski (@RobGronkowski) September 13, 2019
There is still a lot to learn about CTE, but at the moment it can only formally be diagnosed after an autopsy. While scans could determine if Gronkowski’s brain has any signs that are consistent with those of CTE patients, there’s no way to tell for sure if he suffers from it or did at one point.
Gronkowski is endorsing a new product that he swears has changed his life, but we doubt he has much evidence to support his claim that CTE and brain damage can be “fixed.” That’s probably a subject he needs to learn more about before making those types of claims.