Mark Bickley Talks About “Frightening” Football Brain Injuries

Feb 28, 2020


Former Adelaide Crows captain Mark Bickley has spoken on FIVEaa about the “frightening” situation in the US where NFL players are receiving brain injuries as Aussie Rules grapples with the wellbeing of its own players -- including the “worrying” threat to the health of grassroots players.

Shockwaves went through the local footy industry this week after “Polly” Farmer posthumously became the first Aussie Rules player to be diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Bicks told the FIVEaa sports show:

“I know the sports are different and they bang heads up to 25,000 times in a career, they say, in the NFL, but what is happening and what is unfolding now over there… and it is no longer being disputed -- it is fact. It is actually happening…

“For example the symptoms are things like violent mood swings, depression and the amount of players who have taken their own lives and done horrible things in the NFL and have later been diagnosed with CTE is frightening…

“And this is what is really worrying because you hear great stories about people in the country who play 500 [Aussie rules] games and are still playing at 45 and they talk about every 10 years you play you double your chances of getting CTE.

“That is scary for those people who are the lifeblood of grassroots footy and they don’t have a safety net that people at the very top end have.”