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Corey Parker and wife call for calm after NRL rocked by great's concerning revelation

The Brisbane Broncos champion has addressed the frenzy created by his recent comments.

Corey Parker and wife Margaux, pictured here with their four kids.
Corey Parker and wife Margaux have moved to ease the minds of NRL fans. Image: Getty

Corey Parker and wife Margaux have moved to ease concerns about the NRL great's health after he revealed this week he has 'no doubt' that he's suffering symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). A form of dementia, the brain disorder is caused by repeated head injuries and is commonly found in athletes who played contact sports.

While CTE can only be properly diagnosed after death, Brisbane Broncos great Parker revealed this week that he experiences symptoms like forgetfulness that are commonly associated with CTE. Speaking on SEN radio, the former Queensland State of Origin player said: "I've got no doubt, I have no doubt whatsoever over my tenure as a rugby league player that I have symptoms, I have symptoms of CTE.

"But it's something that you can't really get a grasp on until obviously post-mortem. You can try and manage different things, but the damage is done isn't it."

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Parker's admission drew headlines around the country, and led to former teammates and fans reaching out to him to send well-wishes. Speaking on his wife's breakfast show on Triple M Brisbane on Thursday, Parker moved to ensure everyone that he's feeling perfectly fine and was a bit "annoyed" at how much attention his comments have received.

Corey Parker and wife Margaux in 2013.
Corey Parker and wife Margaux at the Dally M awards in 2013. (Getty Images)

However the 41-year-old said he was glad it has sparked a wider conversation about the issue. Margaux made light of the situation while conceding: "We know CTE is very serious and we don't want to make light of brain trauma and damage that can be done."

Parker added: "The side effects and symptoms of CTE - I absolutely display. I'd be naive to think after 20 years of high collisions at the highest level that there wasn't some sort of side effects.

"When I text myself to remind myself to do things, that's probably not normal for most people. There is quite a bit. If you're aware of it and you're across it, at least you can deal with it a bit better. We're all dying, don't get me wrong, but that's all it was (the comments).

"Initially I was a little annoyed (by the reaction). I was sitting at lunch yesterday and a guy consulted me and said 'I'm really sorry to hear'. And I was like 'mate I'm all ok'. But what it has done is it's brought some light to the situation. And for all the tough footballers out there who think they're going ok, it's ok to go 'you know what, I do display some of this stuff'."

Corey Parker and Michael Ennis in 2017.
Corey Parker and Michael Ennis in commentary during an NRL game in 2017. (Getty Images)

Mark Carroll calls for NRL rule change after Corey Parker comments

Despite Parker's assurances that his health isn't as bad as what some thought, his comments will still come as a big concern to officials and administrators. Paul Green and Danny Frawley were both found to have severe CTE after their deaths in the last few years, while the likes of Wally Lewis, Mario Fenech and Mark Carroll are all suffering the effects.

On Wednesday, Carroll called on the NRL to increase the mandatory stand-down period for concussed players. “The stand down is 11 days. That’s bullshit,” Carroll told The Australian. “If you’re a boxer, it’s at least 30 days if not longer. It used to be seven days in the NRL, then they went to 11 days because some metrics, determined by a computer, recommended that time frame.

“Longer stand downs will hurt clubs and their rosters but it’s in the best interests of the player. It should be at least three weeks, what’s 11 days if a player has been diagnosed with a concussion? It’s not long enough.”

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