Mike Adamle is speaking out on CTE and his football career.
Long before joining the WWE, Mike Adamle played in the NFL for six years in the 1970s as a running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets and Chicago Bears. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, more commonly known as CTE, is a brain degenerative disease that afflicts many football players, stemming from several years of repeated concussions.
Adamle appeared on Megyn Kelly's The Today Show on NBC to talk about his struggles as a former football player living with the symptoms of CTE.
"I played six years in the NFL and I thought of myself as a performer and that my job was to perform for the fans who payed money to watch us all play," Adamle said of his football career. "[CTE is not] something you talked about [while playing]. There's no happy ending."
Adamle took that performer's mentality across various different platforms, including being a sports broadcaster, hosting American Gladiator and joining WWE as an announcer/on-screen character in 2008. During his stint in WWE, Adamle was an interviewer, play-by-play announcer and general manager of RAW.
Unfortunately for Adamle, he was diagnosed with dementia in 2017. But the issues regarding CTE doesn't end with football players. Professional wrestling has also been plagued by concussion issues and CTE diagnosis. Past wrestling legends who have had their brain examined after passing away have been diagnosed with CTE. Dr. Bennet Omalu, the neuropathologist who first identified CTE, claimed that a posthumous examination of the brain of Chris Benoit, revealed CTE. Omalu also said he has been studying the brains of more recently deceased wrestlers such as Joanie “Chyna” Laurer, Jonathan “Balls Mahoney” Rechner and Brian “Axl Rotten” Knighton.
Despite his issues, Adamle said he would still do it all over again, but admitted that a sport like football needs to have something changed. Adamle's wife Kim said she, alongside her husband, will try to spread awareness regarding concussions and repeated head trauma, saying, "we can't stop CTE, there are other things they can do to promote brain growth."
"There's something intrinsically wrong with a sport, at least it is right now, where you lose your marbles down the line. Would I do it all again? Probably," Mike Adamle said.
The interview can be seen in the video above and embedded in the article.