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Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe

The Cure For CTE

This is a guest post from Cameron Siskowic.

My name is Cameron Siskowic. I am a proud Las Vegas citizen and I played in the NFL and CFL. In 2017 I organized 14 different charity events in 10 countries. I have raised over $550,000 building five fully functional government schools and the Dan Siskowic Medical Center in Cambodia. Friends and I have also paid for dozens of kids to receive full cancer treatments in the Philippines and we most recently built The Cambodian Field of Dreams Futbol Stadium.

I come from 5 generations of College football players. In fact, my Great Great Grandfather, Sam Willaman, was the head coach at Ohio State and Iowa State where he made the bold decision to play the second African American Football player. That player was tragically and controversially killed in just his second game. His name was Jack Trice. The Jack Trice Stadium at Iowa State is the only stadium named after an African American player. The decision didn’t work out very well at the time but was the perfect lesson that showed how doing the right thing is always worth it in the end. That specific lesson gave me the courage to stand up at the Las Vegas Stadium Authority meeting in hopes of saving thousands if not millions of lives.

My Great Great Grandfather also played with the first ever Native American Jim Thorpe. He was Jim’s back up running back on the Canton Bulldogs that won the 1917 Ohio League Champion. The NFL non-profit organization was the direct predecessor of the Ohio League. I have a birthright to be enraged about what those in power have chosen to do with the game that my family helped create. However I am not spiteful, nor am I asking for any money. I simply realize there is a massive opportunity to help millions of people in our country with CTE and I am truly inspired to help the Veterans who have fought for my freedom and gave me this chance to speak out about these issues.

We are losing lives in football. Enough misdirection, lies and deceit from the NFL. We need to save the sport and work on finding a cure before we rush into building the greatest public subsidized stadium of all time. I cannot sit back and let our children’s children continue to glorify a league that has no interest in helping find a cure for the men who helped build it.

Too many of my friends are suffering from the ailments caused by repetitive football concussions that lead to the newfound disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). If we can find a cure, or at the very least work towards one, we can get back to focusing on all of the positive disciplines football can bring to our country.

The Raiders and the NFL have a unique chance to focus on positive steps to help millions of people find a cure and enhance both the brand of the NFL and the Raiders. I would ask for funds to come from all professional sport leagues, not only the MLS, the CFL, and Boxing but those leagues have not been proven to have covered-up vital information from the American public and profited billions of dollars because of it. I am going to start by appealing to the more noblemotives of Roger Goodell and Mark Davis and ask that they make the decision out of their own free will to fund studies before the start of the 2018 season and help find a cure for CTE.

The NFL profits 10 Billion a year so a mere 10% of that should be a the minimum the American people can accept. Everyone can agree there needs to be more studies, more information, and a cure found quickly. So here is some of the whole story Las Vegas citizens, citizens of our country, and international visitors should be aware of…

750 Million Dollars is the largest public subsidiary for a stadium in the history of the United States of America. I have seen the city grow into America’s tourism capitol and I would like to continue to see our city prosper. That is why I will not allow this city to be named, and branded as the city of the Raiders without them taking the time to truly consider what is important for the identity of our nation right now.

In a time where Roger Goodell organized one of the most profitable cover ups in human history and somehow still has complete power at a time where the great culture of the sport of football is tarnished by those who continue to hide critical safety information from the public. We need to come together against one common enemy (CTE).

Massive lawsuits are inevitably coming against the NFL while more shocking studies are released. It goes without saying that the NFL is in for countless lawsuits and claims no matter what. The public needs to consider the football mother who reluctantly agreed to let her son play with the risk of breaking a leg, not a degenerative brain disease. The public should consider: Is this this is really the league we should be paying a record amount of money to bring to town.

This is not about an absolute mess of a settlement and claims process. This is about finding a cure for CTE. That is it. The brain is the most malleable and regenerative part of our body. Let’s focus on one goal everyone can agree on. Plain and simple. Finding a cure for CTE.

HELLO! PARDON THE INTERUPTION! Herman Edwards, Tony Kornheiser, and Michael Wilbon, One hero is needed to start standing up for football players suffering from CTE. One hero in the media can change the whole world for the better 10X in a flash if they would take risk.

The public must realize this is the chance for the United States of America to Unite against one common enemy? The buck stops here. Here meaning Las Vegas. The city that said we are OK with walking away from $25 million as long as we are teaching our children to look up to brands and businesses that inspire fans for all the right reasons. The Raiders have invested 179 Million. We just rushed into investing the first 25 of 750 Million.

The citizens of Las Vegas need to have an open discussion about paying a record amount to bring a league to town that does not set forth a good example for our children. We also need to open our eyes and at the deal of the century the Raiders currently have to come here.

The Raiders are currently worth 2.1 Billion Dollars. The 20th most valuable team in the NFL. That number can go up or down in a big way over the next two years based on how they handle this complicated opportunity to change the world.

What can we do right now to have the biggest positive impact? Let’s move away from pointing fingers about what is going wrong with this complete sham of a settlement and mess of a deal and focus on one common enemy. No, not Roger Goodell. Let’s focus on fighting CTE.

The principals of football can teach lessons of discipline, strategy, sacrifice, perseverance, and extreme courage. These disciplines have flat out helped our country win wars when we needed it most. Where some see a problem, I see an opportunity.

We can spark millions of people back into living productive and meaningful lives. Or we can continue to pretend, pretend CTE is not happening and that everything is fine. Maybe it is easier for us to be sedated. I believe we should all now realize that staying quiet and saying nothing and doing nothing does not work. The worst kind of action is inaction. Since the movie Concussion came out, we should all be fighting for a cure. Two of the most common symptoms of CTE is impulse control and fatigue. It is easy to choose to just watch Netflix and drink a nice glass of whiskey in your spare time. I am asking the former NFL players and NCAA players to realize that it is probable that they have or will have these minor issues and to come together while they still have the bandwidth to stand up and speak about this glaring issue that our society should not and cannot accept.

The Father’s and Mother’s of America need to look out for their sons. Parents who were tricked, in a cover-up, into allowing their sons to play must demand a cure to save their children’s lives and the sport they loved. This article explains that the NFL Settlement is just the Cover-Up on a much deeper level. We can all continue to argue and point fingers at fraud, or we can focus on the disease itself and work quickly to find a cure. We need the funds from the NFL and the billionaire owners, who profited from the cover-up, to be bold and take the chance to become hero’s and save the day. Then again, maybe a full Boycott from the fans and strike from the players is the only thing the owners and the NFL are going to respond to before things get out of control.

It’s all about the year 2020

10% of profits going toward finding a cure for CTE before the start of the 2018 season and preventing the fire storm before it gets lit is a much better option than what will happen in 2020 when the stadium actually opens. The players in 2020 will inevitably strike if nothing is done to genuinely search for a cure by then. Imagine a future with a world class stadium and no players to play in it. We need to be proactive and push the NFL to donate a very small percentage or profits to save the sport of football and to save our city from building a stadium for a team with players who are obviously going to revolt against the NFL if nothing changes.

This is an opportunity for the Mother’s and Father’s of America to give the NFL the push they need. It is a simple numbers game. If we have 10X the players who sign up for brain mapping before they pass on, then we get 10X the brains to study 10X faster. Then, we can have a definitive diagnosis and start testing nationally for a definitive cure. My friends and most probably myself, are in a race against time. Yes, I know it may seem incredibly risky for me to speak so blatantly and publicly about this issue, but let me ask you a few questions about what you would do if you were in my shoes…

  • What would you do if you had a chance to save a million lives?
  • What would you do if you had to sit there and watch the guy blow his brains out in the movie Concussion and then be told that around 99% of former NFL players had some level of CTE?
  • What would you do to save your Best Friends life?
  • What would you do to save your own life?

I will not live in fear. I will have no fear whatsoever because I know my intentions are pure of heart. I have now been contacted by someone who works with the NFL and have been passively aggressively threatened in a very obvious manner. I will not cower. I will not stop trying to help millions of people suffering due to fear or doubt. Since posting the videos, I have been contacted by people in hopes of more information from all walks of life who potentially suffer from CTE. The response from friends who seemed to be fine and ready to improve was really shocking. Working with those who need more information about reducing the effects of CTE and finding a cure for the suffering is my only goal. Coincidentally, I am also very passionate about raising my family in a wonderful city that we can all be proud of. After doing charity work all over the world it is time for me to take care of my own backyard. I love the city of Las Vegas and I am sacrificing my time and taking a lot of risks to make sure we grow into a city we can be proud to raise our children in. All I ask is that if someone wants to take me out, that my message be carried on to change the world.

I hope we will not allow our children’s children to grow up idolizing our greatest cultural sport without the people who profited from the cover-up, at the very least, properly fund studies for all affected. America is a pretty forgiving country. We are not prosecuting or pressing charges against anyone. All we are doing is asking for a simple solution to help find a cure by funding studies for all levels of former players and current players moving forward. We can find a cure 10X faster than the rate we are going at now if we had the proper funding.

Technological advances are happening INSANELY quickly, and we have a unique opportunity to have a better understanding of the human brain and help all people who have CTE for the betterment of our country and our world. We as a society should be grasping this opportunity and advancing our countries knowledge of the most important thing on earth which our world is not possible without:Our minds.

We should be jumping at the opportunity to unlock the mysteries of the brain and help people suffering from all kinds of mental ailments: Parkinson’s, to ALS, to PTSD, to Alzheimer’s Disease, to CTE and beyond. The NFL and the owners profited and grew their company tenfold because of the cover-up. So, let’s unite our country and ask that they help us find a cure for the millions of people who are suffering from all different causes of concussions.

We cannot allow Las Vegas to be the greatest public subsidy in the country for a stadium without taking the time to honestly consider what is essential for our city and our nation right now. There should be a specific plan that lays out the community benefits plan and covers specifically where the funds will be allocated before Las Vegas spends one more red cent. Please, don’t claim the tourists pay for it when their extra tax could instead be paying for
our failing school system.

The Raiders have a unique opportunity to get out ahead of this and spearhead a movement and capture the hearts of the millions of fans by saving the minds of millions of former players and potentially military veterans. The fans they could acquire are from 4 Major Great American Cities that have Millions of fans who are on the fence…

  • Las Vegas
  • Oakland
  • LA
  • San Diego

Fans like myself who hang in the balance between…

  1. Becoming a Raider fan for the first time.
  2. Sticking with Dean Spanos and the Chargers.
  3. Cheering for Todd Gurley and the Rams.
  4. Not watching the NFL at all.

The Raiders ownership has a chance to do something different and against the wishes of Big Brother. To be BOLD and Raid the NFL. California and Nevada turned fans will unite and put the raiders in the top 5 NFL franchises. This is a billion dollar chance for ONE TEAM to make the first move and exponentially grow their ongoing financial evaluation.

In a world of corruption, misdirection, and greed I am transparently calling for an arms race between NFL teams to see who can do the most good for our world and for the sport of football. I will be a lifelong dedicated fan of whichever team that wins the race, and so will millions of others. Who will be first to offer to fund studies for their former players? Who will have a stadium named after them one day because they decided to fund studies for all levels of players? Who wants to define their legacy and adding to their total net worth in the long run?

I am sure some of the owners who were not involved in the cover up or were handed the reigns of a beast that was out of control just need someone to tell them…

The collective bargaining agreement should be revisited immediately based on new critical public safety information about the game that has come to light since 2011. The studies are real. The settlement is a complete disaster. And, while the lawyers and Goodell try to focus the attention there, we are losing lives and the current players and the former players need to come together and stand for what is right! We could have had a cure by now for millions of former players and VETERANS suffering if we would have demanded studies for all.

We are losing lives in football, and it is time to take positive action. I have a group of committed former players willing to carry on my message no matter what happens to me, but we need the American people to take their shot at standing together and showing one of the world’s biggest conglomerates what it means to be an American. The Las Vegas Raiders could be the most valuable team in the NFL once they make it to Las Vegas but they are not going to stroll in and hit the jackpot without a little bit of hard work, determination and effort.The current players and former players are hurting and we need help. We have an opportunity to ask now, and get ready to demand later that the owners and the NFL to fund studies for ALL players at every level and find a cure quickly so that we can save a sport that has helped define our nation.

The only question is what kind of a nation do we want to be defined as?


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2 Responses to The Cure For CTE

  • What a well written piece. Why isn’t the NFL leading the charge to research CTE?

  • Great article! It made me think about the thousands of college football players that are putting themselves at risk of CTE for free in hopes of being drafted. The NCAA should at least evaluate the impact of CTE on its students, its their responsibility to ensure they’re safe.

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