wiggum - ^^Not always.
The new consensus is that headgear does not mitigate brain trauma. It prevents cuts and bruising, but, if anything, increases the likelihood of brain damage.
First, it increases the size of the 'target.' thereby increasing the number of times people get hit. Second, it makes fighters spar more recklessly, because the cost of a head shot feels lower. Third, fighters throw harder when they spar with headgear. These three factors cost more in terms of brain damage than whatever help headgear provides.
I find this hard to believe. Would that mean football players would be better off without helmets? I guess its more complicated than most would think. Amature boxers require headgear so i think many would disagree with you. My guess all contact sports are dangerous and could likely lead to cte. Feel sorry for the athletes who have given so much for their sports only to be robbed of a normal old age.
There is actually a fair bit of consensus that less padding would increase the safety of football. Less padding would limit the extent to which football players can use their bodies as projectiles. Generally, it's hard to imagine football possibly being worse on the brain than it currently is.
FWIW, I've been coaching professional MMA for a decade now and I've read and thought about this issue quite a bit because my brain and my fighters' brains depend on it. My views are on the right side of the limited research base.
And boxing is moving toward eliminating head gear. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/07/sports/olympics/making-olympic-boxing-safer-by-eliminating-head-guards.html
Couldn't read the entire article it wants me to create account. Interesting stuff. I would suspect the richer sports like the nfl could afford to research this. They would probably kill the results if the outcome hurt the game. Your view that concussions dont cause cte seems to go against everything we think we know. Frankly i don't understand how its not related.
This article about headgear shouldn't be behind a paywall https://www.wired.com/2016/08/olympic-boxers-arent-wearing-headgear-anymore/
Regarding concussions, over the past 5 years, a new consensus has emerged in the scientific community. Repeated head trauma causes CTE. The blows need not be concussive. Concussions are not causal factors of CTE. Here is just a sampling: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/01/18/578355877/repeated-head-hits-not-concussions-may-be-behind-a-type-of-chronic-brain-damage
The NFL has studied the issue and were involved in a huge cover up. There is a Will Smith movie about it.
Currently, the NFL is investigating ways of limiting head trauma, but they have no shown themselves willing to fundamentally alter the nature of the game.