Don Hasselbeck, an NFL player in the 1970s and 1980s who is better known to today’s fans as the father of Matt and Tim Hasselbeck, is the latest in a growing number of football players who have agreed to donate their brains to science.
“I get concerned when I read articles of guys killing themselves or being depressed or dementia or Alzheimer’s,” Hasselbeck told Tim Graham of ESPN.com. “That scares you. You don’t want to see these guys falling apart in front of you.”
In the hope that his brain might provide researchers with some insight into how his concussions affected him, Hasselbeck (who estimates that he had at least 20 concussions during his playing career) will, upon his death, donate his brain to the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston
University School of Medicine for a research project examining the
health effects of head injuries suffered in football.
Other players who have agreed to donate their brains to the research include Ravens center Matt Birk, Cardinals receiver Sean Morey, former Miami Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas and former Raiders cornerback Mike Haynes.