Former New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski, who retired this past offseason, gave an interesting interview with CBSN this week about the wear and tear his body went through playing football. Friday, he got into an interesting discussion on Twitter regarding CTE.
Gronkowski, in the interview, suggested that on top of the nine surgeries he had, he might have had 20 concussions as well. He said that despite that, he’d let his son play football as long as he educated him about the game. He also said that while he’s had numerous injuries in his career, he’s “fixed” all of them.
In response, Chris Nowinski, a co-founder of the BU CTE Center, tweeted at Gronkowski to clarify that CTE cannot be fixed.
Gronkowski responded that CTE is fixable, and that he’s “fixed” his.
.@RobGronkowski I appreciate and respect that you have the guts to talk honestly about #concussions and #CTE. But right now #CTE cannot be fixed- I invite your help in changing that. https://t.co/2kQ0enxdV3
— Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. (@ChrisNowinski1) September 13, 2019
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
It’s unclear how Gronkowski believes he’s “fixed” his CTE. It’s also unclear if he truly believes he had/has CTE.
CTE, which stands for Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is a brain disease associated with repeated head injuries. It’s currently only diagnosable after someone has died. A number of former NFL players are confirmed to have suffered from CTE.
Gronkowski seems to have a different view of the disease than many doctors/scientists. We’ll see if he plans on expanding his thoughts on the matter in the future.