With all the recent talk about concussions and brain damage in professional sports, another key piece of evidence just arose about the violence in sports. TMZ reported on Jan. 10 that former NFL legend Junior Seau was suffering from a degenerative brain disease, which might have led to his suicide.
While some people may say that NFL players know the risks involved in playing football, that does not excuse the lack of care the league put into studying head injuries for many of the 20 years that Seau played in the NFL. Seau's son put it best when asked if his father's amazing NFL career was worth it.
"It's not worth it for me to not have a dad," Tyler Seau said, "so to me, it's not worth it."
The doctor in charge of the case, Dr. Russell Lonser, said that Seau suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease typically caused by multiple hits to the head. This causes "impulsivity, forgetfulness, depression, [and] sometimes suicidal ideation."
The same condition was found in the brain of Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Andre Waters, who committed suicide in 2006. The doctor said it was also found in "nearly every former player whose brain was examined posthumously."
In 2011, former Chicago Bears legend Dave Duerson shot himself in the chest, with a suicide note asking for his brain to be examined. He had CTE. Ray Easterling, a former Atlanta Falcons player, committed suicide two weeks after Seau and also had CTE.
Thousands of former players and their wives are suing the NFL for not working to promote safety when it came to concussions over the years that they played.