A class action lawsuit has been filed against World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) by more than 50 former professional wrestlers. According to the lawsuit, WWE hid the dangers of long-term brain trauma from wrestlers. Some wrestlers went on to develop CTE.
CTE is a brain disease that causes symptoms similar to dementia. Athletes can develop CTE by suffering multiple concussions over the course of their careers.
Due to some of the maneuvers conducted in professional wrestling, wrestlers can suffer concussions. For example, body slams are a maneuver where wrestlers pick up and throw opponents. Another popular wrestling move is the piledriver. Piledrivers require wrestlers to pick up and slam opponents headfirst into the wrestling mat.
Concussions occur when the brain shakes inside of the skull. Whiplash and blunt force trauma from wrestling movies can cause concussions.
What Happens to Athletes Who Develop CTE?
CTE is an awful disease that not only affects athletes, but also their family members. Sufferers of CTE have committed suicide. In addition, sufferers of CTE can develop drug abuse, violent behavior and memory loss. Once athletes develop CTE, they can suffer for the rest of their lives.
The lawsuit suggests WWE did not consider wrestlers as employees, but independent contractors. If true, this means wrestlers were not given the same medical benefits afforded to employees.
This lawsuit has similarities to litigation aimed at the NFL. The NFL recently agreed to settle with former football players for $1 billion. Athletes should keep in mind that the risk of brain injuries can carry long-term consequences. Continue following our blog for future updates on sports-related brain injuries.