Ravens center Matt Birk, Seattle linebacker Lofa Tatupu, and Cardinals wideout Sean Morey have pledged to donate their brains (post-mortem, we assume) to the Boston University School of Medicine.
The three are the first active NFL players to agree to make the donation to the University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, which has been gathering data on the affects of trauma on the brain and spinal cord.
According to a University press release, 40 retired NFL players have already agreed to make the same donation that Birk, Morey, and Tatupu are now planning. Conversation about the life-long effects of concussions on NFL players has become increasingly intense the past few years. Some factions blame the league for not having more stringent policies in place for managing players’ return to the field after suffering concussions.
Former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson, plagued by concussions and their aftereffects to this day, agreed last year to donate his brain.
“I’m not being vindictive,” Johnson said at the time. “I’m not trying to reach up from the grave and get the NFL. But any doctor who doesn’t connect concussions with long-term effects should be ashamed of themselves.”