On Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012, Junior Seau, former NFL player, was found dead in his Oceanside, California home. The medical examiner has determined that Seau died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. However, this is not just a suicide case; there have been a couple instances of former NFL players following similar demises this year.
Last year Dave Duerson, a former NFL player, committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest. He had made specific request that his brain be donated for research, because he believed his time spent playing in the NFL, a extremely contact sport, left his brain bruised and damaged from years of concussions. It was found by researchers at Boston University that after examining Duerson’s brain he had suffered from a neurodegenerative disease directly linked to concussions.
There is much worry spreading like wildfire throughout the NFL with these recent incidents. It appears that the NFL (at least the players) are starting to show more concern regarding the number of individuals being affected by these issues, which are a direct result of this full contact sport. A former teammate of Junior Seau, Marcellus Wiley, expressed his concerns about the long term effects he may face after the NFL – to view, click on this clip – http://www.tmz.com/2012/05/03/marcellus-wiley-junior-seau-nfl-brain-injuries-video/
This issue is a hot topic right now, and medical professionals need to get involved with informing and educating the public and professional athletes about the long term effects of extreme contact sports like professional football leagues. Obviously and unfortunately the ‘public’ like to watch these full contact sports, and the drama that surrounds the “hard hits,” which often causes concussions. Concussions are a leading cause of brain injuries and steps can be taken to minimize the possibility of serious trauma down the road, if assessed & treated accurately. Right now, this should be the main priority of the NFL (among other professional sports leagues) protecting the players rather than ignoring the issues that cause higher ratings.
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