As time goes on, we’ve learned more and more about the terrible effects football can have on the brain. Junior Seau is proof, though sadly not living proof.
Seau played in the NFL for 20 years and, according to ESPN, was never once diagnosed with a concussion. Many concussions go unnoticed and undiagnosed, and Seau clearly suffered plenty of them. Two years after retiring, Seau shot himself in the heart, on May 2, 2012, and his wife and son wanted to know why. So they partnered with the National Institutes of Health, which studied his brain and concluded he suffered from severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Basically, as a result of getting hit in the head countless times over 20 years, Seau’s brain deteriorated to the point that he couldn’t think logically, which may have played a part in the suicide.
Seau’s family hopes this research, along with subsequent research that has found CTE in countless football players, will someday prevent such tragedies from continuing to occur. Maybe organizations like the NFL can find ways not to hurt people and destroy families.