When Junior Seau took his life this year Patriots fans, the NFL and those in his hometown of San Diego, where he played from 1990-2002, were stunned. Seau was one of the best linebackers in NFL history who was competitive, smart and tough. He played with the Pats from 2006-2009 and then retired. Seau was a 12-time NFL Pro Bowl player and was instrumental as a member of the 2007 AFC Championship Patriots team.
Seau and CTE
It was announced the other day that Seau suffered from CTE. CTE is a degenerative brain condition that causes dementia, depression and memory loss. Tests on Seau’s brain performed by the National Institutes of Health confirmed that he was suffering from CTE. CTE is often the result of someone receiving repeated blows to the head over an extended period of time.
In an exclusive interview with ABC News and ESPN, Seau’s ex-wife, Gina, and his oldest son Tyler, who is 23, discussed the findings in an attempt to raise public awareness.
Gina Seau said, “I think it’s important for everyone to know that Junior did indeed suffer from CTE.” “It’s important that we take steps to help these players. We certainly don’t want to see anything like this happen again to any of our athletes.”
The NFL, whose clubs have contributed a $30 million research grant focusing on CTE, said that they are “committed to supporting a wide range of independent medical and scientific research that will both address CTE and promote the long-term health and safety of athletes at all levels.” They added, “ We look forward to making decisions soon with the NFL Players Association on the investment of $100 million for medical research that is committed in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. We have work to do, and we’re doing it”
In 2006, Seau retired from the NFL and then decided to come out of retirement to play for the Patriots. He was greatly needed and appreciated at the time as the teams was dealing with some major transitions in the linebacking area. Along with being a great player, Seau was known as a great guy and someone who was extremely charitable.
Patriots fans will long remember #55’s contributions to their perfect season, Seau, who was a team captain, started four of 16 games and started in the first two playoff games. His spirited and tenacious play while he was with the Pats will always be appreciated.