A recent study from the medical journal JAMA shows that 99 % of brains donated by Former National Football League players showed signs of CTE, which is caused by repetitive hits to the head over a period of years.
Roger Jackson, a former NFL Player, says that he has gone through two types of testing to see how he scored.
Gabrielle Dawkins sat down with Jackson after he saw his results and has more.
“That's every little boy's wish is to play football,” says Jackson. “My whole name was on my Jersey. Roger Jackson.”
Jackson started playing in Macon’s Tindall Heights and played for the Denver Broncos from 1982 to 1987.
"There were a lot of head shots. guys we're targeting, and hitting an opponent in the head. from the chest up, said Jackson. "You used to get rewarded for a knock out a limp off or a carry off. If you applied a blow that knocked a guy out. You got X amount of dollar."
He says the equipment that was used during that time wasn't as protective as today.
"Some of the helmets I've played in, they just had straps in the top of them and no cushioning and the helmet just rocked on your head," says Jackson.
He says a combination of the heavy blows and un-cushioned helmets contributed to his recent symptoms of dizziness, mood swings and forgetfulness.
"I can be riding along and could not realize where I'm at," says Jackson.
With those symptoms, Jackson took two tests, one in September ot 2016 and another this June .... to see if he had the type of traumatic brain injury they call CTE.
"I feel healthy, but I know things upstairs might not quite be right," says Jackson.
He says doctors told him that he failed both tests, but he says he has no regrets.
“If it wasn't for football, I wouldn't have the opportunity to help over 120 kids go to college. Kids have graduated from college. It's all because of football," says Jackson. "If this is my path that I go down, then I accept it.”
Jackson started a Motivating Youth Program in 2009 to help students improve their academic performance and has provided many students the opportunity to get scholarships.
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