UPDATE: Junior Seau’s family will, indeed, donate his brain to research. The Associated Press is reporting that Seau’s family has agreed to allow experts study Seau’s brain to find out if football related injuries, such as concussions, could have had an impact on his decision to take his life.
San Diego Chargers chaplain Shawn Mitchell told the AP that the Seau family, like Junior, has “a philanthropic approach, where they always desire to help others.”
‘‘The purpose is not initially to discover anything about their son and what led to these tragic circumstances,” Mitchell told the AP, “but rather the betterment of other people and athletes down the road through anything that can be learned through the study.’’
The Associated Press is reporting that San Diego County officials have released Junior Seau’s body back to his family after an autopsy. The North County Times reported that researchers have interested in studying Seau’s brain.
Renowned brain injury expert, forensic neuropathologist and co-founder of the Brain Injury Research Institute Dr. Bennet Omalu was on hand at the autopsy, the Times reported. He was there at the request of the San Diego County medical examiner, and in the hopes of convincing Seau’s family to let his institute study Seau’s brain.
Seau is now a member of a growing list of ex-NFL players to take their own life, including former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterline, who shot himself only a moth ago at the age of 62, Chicago Bears Pro Bowl safety Dave Duerson, 50, who shot himself in the chest 15 months ago, former Philadelphia Eagles safety Andre Waters, who shot himself in the head in 2006 at 44, and former Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Terry Long, who at 45-years old drank antifreeze in 2006.
Seau likely suffered multiple concussions during his long career of playing football, the effects of which are still being deduced by researchers.
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For Gyassi Ross’s article on Seau, click here.