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This former football star is already showing signs of brain damage. He's 36.

Antwaan Randle El is only 36 years old, and his regrets should make the NFL take a long look in the mirror.

This former football star is already showing signs of brain damage. He's 36.

In 2006, Antwaan Randle El achieved something thousands of kids across the U.S. dream about: throwing a game-clinching touchdown pass in the Super Bowl.

Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images.


The most unbelievable part? He wasn't even the quarterback.

Photo by SteelCityHobbies/Flickr.

He was a wide receiver.

There's a good chance you remember this play, especially if you're a Pittsburgher (or, more ruefully, if you're a Seattleite,) but if you don't, do yourself a favor and take a look. Pure awesomeness.

It's the kind of feel-good, unlikely success story that, under different circumstances, might have turned the former Pittsburgh Steeler into an ambassador for the game.

Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images.

Instead, in an astonishing interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Randle El dropped a bombshell: He regrets ever playing football.

"If I could go back, I wouldn’t," Randle El told the paper. "I would play baseball. I got drafted by the Cubs in the 14th round, but I didn’t play baseball because of my parents. They made me go to school. Don’t get me wrong, I love the game of football. But, right now, I could still be playing baseball."

The reason?

A healthy brain, left, and a brain with signs of advanced CTE, right. Photo by Boston University Center for the Study of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy/Wikimedia Commons.

According to the interview, since his retirement in 2010, Randle El has been contending with progressive physical and mental deterioration. He frequently loses his balance walking down stairs. He has trouble remembering things that happened just a few minutes earlier.

Randle El is only 36 years old.

Although Randle El has not received a diagnosis, his symptoms raise fears of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disorder which has shortened the lives of too many former NFL players.

Frank Gifford, a former NFL player, was posthumously diagnosed with CTE. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

The result of repetitive mild head trauma, CTE often begins by subtly shifting the mood and personality of those who suffer from the disease. Alzheimer's- and Parkinson's-like symptoms often follow, and early death is a common result.

There is evidence that former football players are among the most commonly affected.

A landmark study conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University examined the brains of 91 former NFL players and found evidence of CTE in a whopping 96% of them. That same year, The NFL settled a lawsuit with thousands of former players affected by symptoms of the disease for $1 billion.

What can be done about this?

No one really knows for sure. By most important metrics, football is more popular than ever. Given the sport's paramount place in American mass culture and the billions of dollars involved, major reform feels a long way off.

Some change, however, might be achievable in the short term. Making sure players are wearing helmets correctly can help prevent concussions. And education at the high school level, specifically making parents aware of the risks of playing and the slim odds of going pro, could help protect children from injury when their brains are most vulnerable and build a constituency for change from the ground up.

Randle El told the Post-Gazette that he's ultimately pessimistic that the game can be changed in a way that makes it more safe.

Randle El speaks at a pep rally before Super Bowl XLV. Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images.

"There’s no correcting it. There’s no helmet that’s going to correct it. There’s no teaching that’s going to correct it. It just comes down to it’s a physically violent game. Football players are in a car wreck every week," Randle El told the paper.

While that may or may not be true, with any luck, getting the word out about football's frequently devastating impact on former players will ensure that parents and young people considering a football career at least know the risks before they become reality.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.

Acts of kindness and compassion are always inspiring. A veterinarian gave a different spin on the phrase "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

The poor little pup in this video walked into this shelter with a history of being abused. He was so traumatized that he wasn't eating. The vet treating him wasn't sure what to do, so he decided to book a table for two: a the dog's place. It is not clear whether he got an official invite from the canine in question, but he felt pretty safe about showing up unannounced. He walked into the cage and sat down next to the dog. With his back up against the corner of his new (and hopefully temporary) domain, the rescue stared apprehensively at his human guest. The vet presented a dog dish with food and put it in front of the dog. The frightened pup just looked at the dish and made no attempt to eat. Then he broke out another dog dish identical to the one he just gave to his four-legged patient and started eating out of that bowl. And then came the turning point.


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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
Anne Owens and Luke Redito / Wikimedia Commons
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When Madeline Swegle was a little girl growing up in Burke, VA, she loved watching the Blue Angels zip through the sky. Her family went to see the display every time it was in town, and it was her parents' encouragement to pursue her dreams that led her to the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.

Before beginning the intense three-year training required to become a tactical air (TACAIR) pilot, Swegle had never been in an aircraft before; piloting was simply something she was interested in. It turns out she's got a gift for it—and not only is she skilled, she finds the "exhilaration to be unmatched."

"I'm excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet," Swegle said in a statement released by the Navy. "It would've been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it's encouraging to other people."

As Swegle's story shows, representation and equality matter. And the responsibility to advance equality for all people - especially Black Americans facing racism - falls on individuals, organizations, businesses, and governmental leadership. This clear need for equality is why P&G established the Take On Race Fund to fight for justice, advance economic opportunity, enable greater access to education and health care, and make our communities more equitable. The funds raised go directly into organizations like NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, YWCA Stand Against Racism and the United Negro College Fund, helping to level the playing field.

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Do you know that guy who has never had an issue with his TV/internet provider? Neither do I. If you claim you have never had issues with your bill going up without warning, then you are either lying or you own the cable company. Jake Lawson apparently does not own a cable company, and was prepared to communicate his frustrations regarding his bill in a most creative way.

First off, Jake understands what everyone should realize. The customer service representative doesn't own the cable company either, so yelling at someone who is just trying to make a living like all of us is not the answer. Their job is hard enough as it is so give them a break. Jake gave them more than a break. He gave them a song.


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