Concussions, CTE, & Closure

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Silver Football and NFL Logo On Top of a Green Field, by flickr user C_osett, licensed by Creative Commons.

For the love of the game

The family of Junior Seau has reached settlement with the National Football League over his 2012 suicide. The Hall of Fame linebacker, who played more than half of his 20 year football career with the San Diego Chargers, took his own life at the age of 43. He was later diagnosed with CTE, a chronic form of brain damage, likely brought on by his violent on-field tackling in the NFL. Reports claim that Seau’s family will receive up to $4m in the wrongful death settlement, which was filed in a Philadelphia PA federal court. The NFL has come under fire over the last few years as more and more retired and former players are showing signs of brain damage, concussions, and dementia.

Seau chose to end his life by shooting himself in the chest, with many believing he did so purposefully to preserve his brain for diagnosis and study. Many reports claim that CTE was found in 99% of studied brains from former NFL players. The league has since raised awareness about safety, changed several rules to prevent violent hitting, and pledged over $1B to settle similar wrongful death lawsuits. Junior Seau recorded almost 2,000 tackles between 1990-2009 and was selected as an “All-Pro” 10 times. He was drafted 5th overall in 1990 after playing his college years at the University of Southern California.