In an interview on Thursday with CBS’ Reena Ninan, Rob Gronkowski spoke about the head injuries he suffered throughout his career. The former Patriots tight end said he suffered “probably, like, 20 concussions” with about five of them resulting in blackouts. It’s a harrowing reminder of just how damaging football can be on the body, and serves as useful context for this Twitter interaction where Gronk tells former WWE star, and behavioral neuroscience Ph.D., Chris Nowinski that CTE is, in fact, “fixable.”
Beyond his education, Nowinski’s résumé includes being a co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, and a co-founder of the BU CTE Center, so it’s safe to assume he might know a thing or two about how brains work. Gronk, meanwhile, is currently on a press tour speaking about the ways CBD products have helped him recover from his numerous football injuries—or, more cynically, he’s being used as a mascot to hawk CBD products. Point is, he might not be the biggest expert on this subject.
For the record, no, CTE is not “fixable” in the sense that there’s an outright cure for the disease, as Nowinski was kind enough to point out to the ex-NFL star:
Maybe Gronk actually believes that the damage done to his brain from playing football has been “fixed,” or maybe he’s just an overzealous pitch man. Either way, it’s not helpful for anyone, particularly someone as high-profile as Gronk, to go around saying CTE is something that can be so easily cured.