Former NFL Star Merrill Hoge Feels There’s a Plot to Destroy Football

Merrill Hoge
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Former NFL fullback Merrill Hoge believes there’s a war on football, and has written a book to prove it.

In his new book with Dr. Peter Cummings, Brainwashed: The Bad Science Behind CTE and the Plot to Destroy Football, Hoge, who played in the NFL for eight years, dives into what he perceives as an agenda against football based on false science. Noted author Daniel J. Flynn wrote a similar book in 2013, titled: The War on Football.

“We are in the state of California, and you have some legislation to ban football to age 14,” Hoge said on Fox Sports 1’s ‘Speak for Yourself.’ “You can start MMA fighting and boxing at age 8 in this state. Why would you tell me there’s not a war on football, or a target if you are going to say it’s okay to box? Keep this in mind. Correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t the objective to target your head in MMA and boxing? At 8, we can box in California, but we want to ban tackle football and what is the scientific evidence that they’re bringing to the table. There is no scientific evidence that there is anything wrong with kids playing contact sports. That is why I think the book is so important.

“We bring out those things about what the science is saying and all the amazing things going on in football, especially youth football from protocols, treatments, therapies, practice structure, the wide gamut, how better and safer it is. In the nearly 100 years we have been playing this game, the safest environment we’ve ever had is right now.”

So why does Hoge think there are people trying to destroy football?

“I can’t answer what somebody else’s agenda is,” Hoge said. “I just see what is being done and without the proper supporting information. You have people talking about youth football, never coached youth football, not certified to coach youth football. I speak from that perspective. What there agenda is, you will have to ask them to answer that one.”

Cummings, who is a forensic pathologist, who not only wrote this book with Hoge, but also wrote an article for Yahoo last year, titled: I’m a Brain Scientist and I Let my Son Play Football.

“I don’t there there is a scientific evidence that says that football or head trauma even causes CTE,” Cummings said while appearing with Hoge on Fox Sports 1. “We don’t know what causes it.”

CTE is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a brain condition associated with repeated blows to the head that can cause things like dementia.

Cummings thinks it’s reckless to always blame football for ex-football players committing suicide.

“As a forensic pathologist, I have unfortunately invested hundreds and hundreds of suicide deaths and they are tragic, and they are terrible, and you never, ever point to one factor, it’s multi-factorial thing and to think you can open up the brain, lay it out, and look at a spot under the microscope, and say that is what caused this person to commit suicide, there is just no way to do that. If you have somebody in the general public who commits suicide, well it’s mental illness and it’s like, ‘we have to do better treating mental illness in this country.’ But if a football player at any level commits suicide, ‘it’s football,’ regardless of any other factor that may be going on in their lives – divorce, drug abuse, bankruptcy.”

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