Skip to comments.Former NFL star kills himself after lifetime of depression 'brought on by concussion during career'
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 ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So would you tell your kid to “roll the dice”?
Maybe risks of bad knees, and backs, but Alzheimer’s and Dementia? I don’t think so.
I would do everything possible to steer a child of mine away from things like the NFL and the meat grinder it is.
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.
that is really sad.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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....
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