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Remembering Junior Seau Through Brain Injury Lawsuits

Craig McClellan

Last May, a tragic event sparked a year of focus on football brain injuries and multiple lawsuits against football entities, including the National Football League.

Former San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau took his own life on May 2, 2012 after suffering from serious depression. Following his death, medical professionals discovered that he likely suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disorder that causes depression and memory loss. Like other former football players, Seau's CTE can be linked to his career and the multiple head injuries he suffered as a linebacker.

Now, Seau’s family and thousands of other former NFL players and their families have brought lawsuits against the NFL, claiming the League knew about the dangers of repeated head injuries (such as mild concussions) yet failed to disclose that information to players. In fact, there is evidence that the NFL covered up the risk by discrediting information provided to it by medical sources.

While playing football is risky, the players argue they didn’t understand the full extent of the risk. “I do know I’m going to take hard hits, and I did know that,” former NFL player Dorsey Levens told CBS News, “What we didn’t know was the impact of traumatic brain injury. We didn’t know back when I played that this could give you dementia.”

Professional football players aren’t the only ones who did not understand the risks involved with football. Many high school and college football players have also faced lifelong brain damage. While we do not know how to cure brain injuries, it may be possible to make the sport safer — or at least give proper warning to parents and players about the risk of head injuries.

That is the least we can do to remember Junior Seau and other former football players who suffer and suffered from depression caused by severe head injuries.

Source: Oceanside-Camp Pendleton Patch, “ Junior Seau’s Death Keeps Spotlight On Brain Injuries,” Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh, Amita Sharma, May 2, 2013