Football Destroyed My Husband’s Mind


In this op-ed for The New York Times, Emily Kelly, the wife of former NFL player Rob Kelly, shares the devastating impact that a professional career in football has had on her husband’s brain and psychological well-being.

“I used to read all the articles about C.T.E., all the stories about football players committing suicide. I’d skim the comments to see remarks like: ‘They know what they signed up for’ and ‘Of course football is bad for the brain, everyone knows that.’

But when all those big hits happened and the fans cheered, did they cheer despite knowing a man just greatly increased his risk for dementia? Was anyone worried about an A.L.S. diagnosis or a C.T.E.-related suicide at 40 after their favorite player suffered repeated blows to the head on the field? No, they cheered and they celebrated because they didn’t know. And neither did we.”


  1. Very sad to read this story. The lying and deception practised by the NFL’s “medical experts” and their denial of the connection between the head injuries and CTE is hard to comprehend. Yes, everyone knew head injuries were bad, but with no concept of what that devastation could look like. Hard to understand why anyone today would play the sport given the risks involved.

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