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On The Fly: Study Shows Tackle Football Before 12 Can Lead To Issues Later In Life

A study from Boston University's Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center finds that athletes who began playing tackle football before the age of 12 were more likely to have behavioral issues later in life. The long-term research, released Tuesday in the journal Nature's Translational Psychiatry, focused on 214 former football players and found playing tackle football before 12 "increased the risk of problems with behavioral regulation, apathy and executive functioning by two-fold and increased the risk of clinically elevated depression scores by three-fold." Of those participating in the study, 43 played through high school, 103 through college and 68 in the NFL, with the average age of 51. "This study adds to growing research suggesting that incurring repeated head impacts through tackle football before the age of 12 can lead to a greater risk for short- and long-term neurological consequences," said Michael Alosco, lead author of the study.

James Blake testified Tuesday in the disciplinary trial for the plainclothes police officer who tackled and handcuffed outside a midtown Manhattan hotel in 2015. Blake, who grew up in Fairfield, said James Frascatore never identified himself as police officer before throwing him on the sidewalk face-first. After about 10 minutes, police realized Blake was not the suspect they were pursuing in a fraud investigation and he was released. But Blake, the former professional tennis star, is calling for the firing of Frascatore. The officer rejected a deal that would require him to forfeit vacation days in light of a New York Police Department Internal Investigation and his case is now before an administrative judge. Frascatore has said he did nothing wrong, despite what security video shows. The NYPD has apologized. Blake? He's become an activist, authoring a book about his experience. … Another athlete not sticking to sports: Eagles defensive end Chris Long, who is donating his first six game checks to a fund of scholarships for students in his hometown of Charlottesville, Va. Long is reacting to the violence that unfolded during demonstrations fueled by white supremacists last month. Long has also displayed support for teammate Malcolm Jenkins, who has raised his fist during the national anthem. Long has put his arm around Jenkins during the anthem.

Kevin Durant can dominate on the court, but navigating social media another matter. Over the weekend, Durant — tweeting in the third person — called out the Oklahoma City Thunder organization and coach Billy Donovan as he apparently forgot to change from the account he used to engage fans to his personal account. Speaking at at San Francisco's TechCrunch Disrupt Tuesday, Durant explained the kerfuffle, saying he was "childish" and "idiotic." … Fans attending the Central Connecticut-Walsh University football game Saturday in New Britain can donate cash, hats and blankets to support Bianca's Bumblebees, an organization created by 7-year-old Wethersfield resident Bianca Mollica. The group provides items for patients at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Donations can be made at the gate of the stadium.

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