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Former NFL star kills himself after lifetime of depression 'brought on by concussion during career'
Daily Mail UK ^

Posted on 04/24/2012 7:34:14 AM PDT by Perdogg

Former football star Ray Easterling has become the latest sportsman to kill himself after suffering from depression believed to have been linked to head injuries during his career. The 62-year-old, who police say shot himself at his home in Richmond, Virginia, played for the Atlanta Falcons during the 1970s and later sued the NFL over its handling of concussions. He began showing signs of brain damage 20 years ago with bouts of depression and insomnia.

(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Sports
KEYWORDS: atlantafalcons; concussions; headinjury; rayeasterling
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1 posted on 04/24/2012 7:34:23 AM PDT by Perdogg
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To: Absolutely Nobama; Thunder90; 4everontheRight; ABG(anybody but Gore); Abbeville Conservative; ...

NFL PING

FReepmail scott says to be added to, or to be taken off the NFL Ping list...
2 posted on 04/24/2012 7:36:55 AM PDT by Perdogg
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To: Perdogg

The players are not innocents amongst the wolves. Status and money make it seem worth the risk of injury so they suit up and roll the dice.


3 posted on 04/24/2012 7:52:06 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Perdogg

One of the “gritsblitzers”. This falcon fan got to see him play.

RIP Mr. Easterling.


4 posted on 04/24/2012 7:52:18 AM PDT by Vigilantcitizen (Dave Mustaine for president.)
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To: Perdogg

5 posted on 04/24/2012 7:53:33 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Perdogg
Rush has been dropping hints about the trial lawyers newest target, The NFL.

National Flag-Football League?

6 posted on 04/24/2012 7:54:51 AM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: count-your-change

Do you really think back then those players knew what was in store for them once their playing days were over?


7 posted on 04/24/2012 7:55:06 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: TexasCajun

My question is, how do former Rugby players fare compare to former football players?

I think the padding makes things even worse, players hit harder, thinking that padding gives them protection.

It would be better if they went back to leather helmets.


8 posted on 04/24/2012 7:56:54 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: Perdogg

How does the incidence of depression and early Alzheimer’s in retired NFL players compare to the population at large?


9 posted on 04/24/2012 7:56:54 AM PDT by Stingray51
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To: Perdogg

Very sad story. Prayers for his family... they must have gone through a lot.


10 posted on 04/24/2012 8:05:14 AM PDT by momtothree
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To: Stingray51

That is a good question. I would like to know what role, if any, steroids have played.


11 posted on 04/24/2012 8:12:10 AM PDT by Perdogg
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To: dfwgator
Deaths cause by Australian Rules Football collisons are common.
12 posted on 04/24/2012 8:14:21 AM PDT by Perdogg
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To: dfwgator
It would be better if they went back to leather helmets.

I believe the problem is the hard shell around the padding. They should redesign the helmets (and shoulder pads) to have big foamy padding over the top of the plastic. This would soften the blows and still provide the rigid protection of the plastic.

It would look funny at first. There would have to be some give and take to not affect movement. But I believe it would really reduce head injuries and not affect how the game should be played.

13 posted on 04/24/2012 8:18:45 AM PDT by toast
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To: dfwgator

yep....I think most players knew that there was potential of a future that included bad knees, stiff necks, or other joint ailments. I don’t think most ever thought about brain issues like Alzheimer’s and dementia. One of my best friends and the guy I played next to on the offensive line in college has dementia now in his 30’s. It’s so bad now that he lives at a special facility where he’s the youngest person there by 25-30 years. There’s no proof that football caused it....but he did have multiple concussions.


14 posted on 04/24/2012 8:21:21 AM PDT by BookmanTheJanitor
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To: toast

The problem is that it doesn’t encourage proper tackling technique. Nowadays players want the “SportsCenter Hit”, instead of properly grabbing the waist, then sliding down towards the ankles to make the tackle.


15 posted on 04/24/2012 8:21:29 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: Perdogg

Like a lot of things we used to think “getting your bell rung” was no big deal. Turns out it is a big deal.

We also thought cigarette smoking was OK and driving drunk was something to laugh about.

Whether it’s a worthwhile tradeoff to get the money and other benefits that professional sports affords is a separate question - but it turns out that the brain doesn’t do well when it gets knocked about and banged up.


16 posted on 04/24/2012 8:22:54 AM PDT by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
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To: TexasCajun; Perdogg

Follow the money. Every time.


17 posted on 04/24/2012 8:23:20 AM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: Perdogg

Very sad.

RIP Ray Easterling.


18 posted on 04/24/2012 8:28:57 AM PDT by onyx (SUPPORT FREE REPUBLIC, DONATE MONTHLY. If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, let me know.)
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To: Perdogg

Very sad.

RIP Ray Easterling.


19 posted on 04/24/2012 8:29:00 AM PDT by onyx (SUPPORT FREE REPUBLIC, DONATE MONTHLY. If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, let me know.)
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To: TexasCajun

The league brought it on themselves. They’re the ones that released a “study” in the mid 90s that assured players concussions left no lasting negative effects. They lied to the players about their long term health, and now the players they lied to are suing them.


20 posted on 04/24/2012 8:34:35 AM PDT by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
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To: discostu

The day may arrive when football as we know it becomes a thing of the past, as high insurance premiums force high schools to abandon the sport.


21 posted on 04/24/2012 8:36:05 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: dfwgator
"in store for them"

Some years ago, some reporter asked ex-all-pro Jim Otto of the Oakland Raiders who was basically a cripple after his playing days were over if it was all worth it. He said yes.

22 posted on 04/24/2012 8:40:37 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: Perdogg

Ray was a friend and know Mary Anne as well, and there is a whole lot more to this than what is public. I was with him just a few months ago and was planning to get back with him soon.

He was truly a great guy, and a strongly-committed Christian. Still at his playing weight of 185 and totally ripped. Would run 5 miles in 95 degree heat.

Personally, I think he just couldn’t deal with losing his ability to function mentally.....his whole nature was to be 110% in everything he did, and saw himself being able to do less and less. Don’t know that I’d differ in his decision knowing what he was dealing with and facing.

I cannot speak too highly of him. He was great to be with and all who know him miss him already.


23 posted on 04/24/2012 8:45:58 AM PDT by Arlis (.)
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To: dfwgator

There’s no may about it, the game is going to have to dramatically change very soon. The brain damage data is just too scary. Knowing the stuff that’s come out in recent years about the permanence of the damage, and how often football players are suffering that damage even without any form of symptoms, I’d have to say no parent should allow their kid to play football. The Chris Henry autopsy is frightening.


24 posted on 04/24/2012 8:48:37 AM PDT by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
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To: dfwgator

No, I don’t but they were willing to take the chance. Not every player suffered brain damage just as not every boxer became ‘punch drunk’ so it’s easy enough to ignore or play down the obvious dangers.

We can have great sympathy for this poor fellow but what did he think would be the result of getting his body hammered on game after game? He rolled the dice.....an lost. Sorry.


25 posted on 04/24/2012 9:06:54 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change

So would you tell your kid to “roll the dice”?


26 posted on 04/24/2012 9:08:03 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: dfwgator
Do you really think back then those players knew what was in store for them once their playing days were over?
I guarantee the NFL players were aware of the risks, and just like guys in combat, they don't think IT will ever happen to them.
27 posted on 04/24/2012 9:14:57 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: oh8eleven

Maybe risks of bad knees, and backs, but Alzheimer’s and Dementia? I don’t think so.


28 posted on 04/24/2012 9:17:46 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: dfwgator

I would do everything possible to steer a child of mine away from things like the NFL and the meat grinder it is.


29 posted on 04/24/2012 9:18:32 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change

Seriously more and more professional soccer is becoming the way for young athletes to go, with so many professional leagues around the globe, there are many opportunities, more and more Americans are having successful careers in Europe, namely Tim Howard, and Clint Dempsey, who is about to have a huge payday, based on his performance at Fulham this year, he may be headed to Arsenal or Manchester United next season.


30 posted on 04/24/2012 9:23:32 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: Arlis

that is really sad.


31 posted on 04/24/2012 9:24:32 AM PDT by Perdogg
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To: oh8eleven

It’s actually only been in the last few years that medical science has come to realize how serious even one head injury can be. When my boy got a bad concussion last year, his doctors gave me rafts of recent medical journal articles showing the new work that’s being done in this field. Nobody thought a few concussions—not even enough to put someone in the hospital—could be such a disaster decades later. The data wasn’t there. Football players, who aren’t the best educated people in the world anyway and certainly don’t keep up on medical research, couldn’t know. Doctors didn’t know.


32 posted on 04/24/2012 9:24:41 AM PDT by ottbmare (The OTTB Mare)
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To: dfwgator

Rugby is a very different game. While a very tough contact sport it is not the “impact sport” that the NFL is. Rugby players usually get tackled around the waist, they’re running the entire time (play is fluid, including possession) so the intent is to “tackle” not to “knock out” (in NFL once you have the ball everybody just zeros in on you). So the injuries aren’t from the same kind of impact.


33 posted on 04/24/2012 9:31:58 AM PDT by fuzzylogic (welfare state = sharing consequences of poor moral choices among everybody)
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To: Arlis
Don’t know that I’d differ in his decision knowing what he was dealing with and facing.

I had an uncle with Alzheimers who took his own life also during one of his lucid periods.

My uncle was the most animated and greatest story teller of all time . The funeral director, a lifetime friend, really did get the final laugh over his buddy. Dressed him up in those old red longjohns, his hunting boots and hat and his favorite bear rifle.....That was exactly the way Uncle Boyd would want to have been remembered.

I'm with you, if I developed Alzheimers I wouldn't want to have to suffer with it, I'd rather go out my own way.

34 posted on 04/24/2012 9:43:33 AM PDT by Hot Tabasco (My 6 pack abs are now a full keg......)
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To: count-your-change

When I hear about this kind of thing I can’t help but think of Lyle Alzado (who did not commit suicide).

The use of steroids (which was pretty much 100% in the 70’s) led to all kinds of health and mental issues. I am not saying this guy used, but if not he was the only besides kickers who didn’t.

That combined with the low technology and misunderstanding of concussions led to this tragic end (IMHO).

Prayers for his tortured soul and his family.


35 posted on 04/24/2012 9:45:30 AM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: Perdogg
I love football but also have a background in medical research.I've read that at least one major US medical school (Boston University,an outstanding school) has been doing research on concussions and their long term effect on people.This study,I believe,is focusing on NFL players.this makes sense because they obviously suffer their share (or *more* than their share) of head injuries,as do NHL players,for example.Their findings,compiled over time with much data collected...including the results of autopsies done on NFL players...indicate that even a couple of "noteworthy" (my word,obviously not a "scientific" term) concussions have a devastating effect on the sufferer,particularly in later years.Many of the autopsies have shown that the brains of these guys have turned to mush by the time they die.

No,I'm not slamming the NFL.and I'm inclined to think that BU Medical School isn't either...research studies are subject to peer review which could easily expose bias (or errors) on the part of a researcher or group of researchers.

36 posted on 04/24/2012 10:30:53 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Unlike Mrs Obama,I've Been Proud Of This Country My *Entire* Life!)
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To: Perdogg

Sad. RIP.


37 posted on 04/24/2012 11:06:13 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (If you like lying Socialist dirtbags, you'll love Slick Willard)
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To: dfwgator
Maybe risks of bad knees, and backs, but Alzheimer’s and Dementia? I don’t think so.
Yeah, you're right. I guess back in the day, no one ever used the boxing term "punch drunk" to describe an old football player.
38 posted on 04/24/2012 11:12:12 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: dfwgator
The problem is that it doesn’t encourage proper tackling technique. Nowadays players want the “SportsCenter Hit”, instead of properly grabbing the waist, then sliding down towards the ankles to make the tackle.

When I played football in HS, we were taught to get out head out of the way when tackling somone. This was back in the late 1950s(55-59). A few years later, in the 1960s to 1970, HS players were being taught to "spear" when tackling, that is they were supposed to ram their head into the chest of the player being tackled. Not only was this practice dangerous to the tackler it could cause massive damage to the other players chest.

I would never allow a son of mine to play on a team that taught that technique.

39 posted on 04/24/2012 12:27:30 PM PDT by calex59
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To: Hot Tabasco

Heard from another friend that Ray had gone out in his BMW, got lost, and couldn’t find his way home - had to call Mary Anne to come and get him.

Suspect that was the final turning point......

God bless Ray - he’s in God’s presence now and the pain is gone.....may the Lord minister to his family....


40 posted on 04/24/2012 2:00:53 PM PDT by Arlis (.)
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To: dfwgator

Re Soccer, there is brain damage among players from heading the soccer ball.......

Just saying, baseball perhaps?


41 posted on 04/24/2012 7:04:35 PM PDT by Leto (Damn shame Sarah didn't run the Presidency was there for the taking)
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To: dfwgator

I would think that people don’t throw the term “getting your bell rung” around lightly. Anyone with any common sense should know, deep down, that repeatedly getting hit in the head is going to have an effect—especially since the NFL outlawed head slaps in the ‘70s.


42 posted on 04/24/2012 7:09:00 PM PDT by rabidralph
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To: dfwgator
You can get your 'bell rung' (i.e. concussion) real easily heading a soccer ball. I know, it happened to me.

To the best of my knowledge, I have only had two concussions in my life. One bouncing my head off the cobblestones when I was a kid, and the other heading a soccer ball when I was in college.

I'm sure there are a lot of soccer players who have had repeated brain injuries from heading the ball. They ain't beach balls and they can come at you very fast. If you don't head them just right, they will rattle the hell out of you. It can be a dangerous play.

43 posted on 04/24/2012 7:21:33 PM PDT by Ditto (Nov 2, 2010 -- Partial cleaning accomplished. More trash to remove in 2012)
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To: martin_fierro

Smiling face, haunted eyes.


44 posted on 04/24/2012 7:32:59 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: Arlis

You think Ray is in “God’s presence” after killing himself? I wouldn’t presume to know myself, but given that he took his own life it may not be the case. God determines when we all go—or he is supposed to.


45 posted on 04/27/2012 9:04:56 AM PDT by subterfuge (BUILD MORE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS NOW!!!)
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To: ottbmare

Oh so the players didn’t know and the doctors didn’t even know, but somehow the NFL knew.

Yeah right. I am a corporate defense attorney and this concussion stuff is a plaintiff’s attorney wet dream.

Re this poor guy who killed himself, it would be really interesting to see if dementia rain in his family, if he did steroids, I.e. If there were other causes than the concussion knee jerk cause.


46 posted on 04/27/2012 9:16:20 AM PDT by Treeless Branch
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To: subterfuge

Let me know how you look at the deaths and the presence of God with the
poor souls that leaped from the Towers on 9-11, rather than be incinerated?


47 posted on 04/27/2012 9:33:26 AM PDT by GOYAKLA (Recall/ Impeachment Day, November 6, 2012. FUBO, same for RINOs)
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To: GOYAKLA

What a stupid thing to say. I stated I don’t presume to know where the man’s soul now resides. The man was not in his right mind apparently and only God can judge that.

The poor souls on the twin towers were escaping certain horrific death they were physically not able to endure. They didn’t want to die You’re pretty self-righteous there fella. You seem to know that without a doubt, the man is now with Jesus.


48 posted on 04/27/2012 1:59:33 PM PDT by subterfuge (BUILD MORE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS NOW!!!)
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To: GOYAKLA

What a stupid thing to say. I stated I don’t presume to know where the man’s soul now resides. The man was not in his right mind apparently and only God can judge that.

The poor souls on the twin towers were escaping certain horrific death they were physically not able to endure. They didn’t want to die You’re pretty self-righteous there fella. You seem to know that without a doubt, the man is now with Jesus.


49 posted on 04/27/2012 1:59:33 PM PDT by subterfuge (BUILD MORE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS NOW!!!)
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To: subterfuge

Your treatise makes no sense that it’s alright because
“The poor souls on the twin towers were escaping certain horrific death they were physically not able to endure. They didn’t want to die”
What I was saying Ray Easterling was facing the his own horrific death! He did the same as they did, took their own lives.
Your snide remark “You’re pretty self-righteous there fella.” shows me and any other Freepers who might be reading our postings, whom may be the self righteous one.
My God is a very compassionate caring God.

I’ll allow you the last word, if you wish!
May God Bless You and Yours.
FINI


50 posted on 04/27/2012 4:09:12 PM PDT by GOYAKLA (Recall/ Impeachment Day, November 6, 2012. FUBO, same for RINOs)
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