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Duerson committed suicide, asked for his brain to be studied


Authorities in Miami have determined that former Bears safety Dave Duerson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, according to NBC 5 in Chicago.

Per the report, Duerson informed loved ones in a text message that he wants his brain to be studied.

A friend of the family contacted Chris Nowinski, co-director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Ecephalopathy, Thursday night.  Arrangement were made for the brain to be prepped and sent to Nowinski’s program for research.

The tissue will be checked for the presence of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE.

“NFL players are at high risk for CTE,” Nowinski said.  “It’s sad, it’s shocking that it may have been on his mind” the moments before his death.”

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48 Responses to “Duerson committed suicide, asked for his brain to be studied”
  1. CKL says: Feb 19, 2011 6:35 PM

    Wow that stinks. So sad for his family. I had a feeling something was hinky when they didn’t disclose the cause of death right away.

  2. wtf2812 says: Feb 19, 2011 6:46 PM

    Damn. This sobering news should remind us all that while it is still just a game, there are some consequences to playing it and all that money and fame does not guarantee a happy ending.

    Truly sad. My condolences to Duerson’s family.

  3. stankfinger says: Feb 19, 2011 6:46 PM


  4. hafftime says: Feb 19, 2011 6:47 PM

    R.I.P. double D.

  5. nepatriots128154 says: Feb 19, 2011 7:08 PM

    How sad

  6. 4dabears says: Feb 19, 2011 7:14 PM

    R.I.P. Mr. Duerson

  7. towniesman says: Feb 19, 2011 7:49 PM

    mr Nowinski an his doctors are doing very good work up here in Boston

  8. whatevnfl says: Feb 19, 2011 7:49 PM

    How tragic. So sorry he was in so much pain.

  9. stairwayto7 says: Feb 19, 2011 7:58 PM

    Where was Buddy Ryan at? Foes he have an alibi?

  10. 1972wasalongtimeago says: Feb 19, 2011 8:00 PM

    18 games anyone?

  11. theallegedone says: Feb 19, 2011 8:01 PM

    Some insensitive a**holes on this site. Why would you ever give a thumbs down to somebody saying Rest In Peace? Get a life.

  12. revisisland says: Feb 19, 2011 8:01 PM

    All you people that disliked comments about how sad people are or things like “R.I.P and Condolences” You guys are A-holes just so you know. And Dislike this if you want I don’t give a sh!t I just want to make my point.

  13. acdrew22 says: Feb 19, 2011 8:23 PM

    Well if this doesn’t encourage a push for better healthcare for retired players with the CBA I don’t know what else would

  14. cappa662 says: Feb 19, 2011 8:29 PM

    Something going on with these guys killing themselves. Duerson was successful off the football field. First andre waters now dd, something is definately wrong with their brains.

  15. pervyharvin says: Feb 19, 2011 8:34 PM

    Who votes thumbs down on posts offering kind words about a tragic death? Stay classy losers…

  16. dafixisin says: Feb 19, 2011 8:36 PM

    Truly tragic that a career played during the pre-concussion awareness era has claimed another victim. My thought is that this will serve as a lightning rod of sorts during the current CBA negotiations.

    For the players, this will serve as just another reason not to up the season to 18 games, despite the owners’ and fans'(?) insistence.

    For the NFL league office, this will be another reason to continue to drop the hammer on the James Harrisons of the league.

    As a fan, I believe both sides will be justified in their stances.

    What’s just as tragic is the manner in which Duerson took his own life. The self-inflicted gunshot to the chest, to preserve his own brain for further research. He made his point, about as loud and clear as it could possible be made.

    R.I.P., Dave Duerson. Message received.

  17. packerman13 says: Feb 19, 2011 8:55 PM

    Such a shame. R I P Dave

  18. wafflestomp says: Feb 19, 2011 8:58 PM

    Very sad indeed.

    As a Packers fan, I can clearly remember the sheer dominance of that Bear defense in the mid 80’s.

    How tragic it is when someone feels there is no hope and no other solutions.

  19. ccous says: Feb 19, 2011 9:05 PM

    who is giving thumbs down to comments that say ‘RIP’??

  20. colorinfusion says: Feb 19, 2011 9:05 PM

    How sad, my condolences to his family, friends, and fans.

    What I can’t believe is that anyone would give thumbs down on any of the comments above, that is beyond me as they are all nice, no nasty ones.

  21. moochzilla says: Feb 19, 2011 9:54 PM

    Wow, sobering and sad news. A great player. His death is all too familiar – we saw the same thing with Andre Waters.

    Remember this when some loudmouth Hardee’s exec (Carolina) / trust fund baby (in Philly) NFL owner says the players are “greedy”.

    There is a cost to this game.

  22. lasher1650 says: Feb 19, 2011 10:22 PM

    DD seemingly unraveled after the very public 2005 spousal abuse incident. He was removed as a Notre Dame Trustee and lost his various sponsorship and media roles. Coupled with Dave’s failed business ventures, the man endured a horrible last few years of an otherwise blessed life. RIP DD.

  23. rho1953 says: Feb 19, 2011 11:02 PM

    A great player and always seemed a classy guy. My sincere condolences to his family from a Packer fan who remembers how great he was.

  24. Deb says: Feb 19, 2011 11:15 PM

    Heartbreaking story. Deepest condolences to the family. RIP, Dave.

  25. goombar2 says: Feb 19, 2011 11:17 PM

    The thumbs down come from Pervy and his viking friends. A bunch of real class acts.

    Anyway, I feel bad for the family and I’m hoping more can be done for players safety and that players themselves follow the rules and sit if they have been concussed.

  26. coachstram says: Feb 19, 2011 11:25 PM

    Ignore the a-holes, ccous.

    No sadder or tragic way to die than suicide.

  27. mcarey032 says: Feb 19, 2011 11:49 PM

    Very sad. Hope that God will give them the strength to get through this very difficult time. RIP Dave Duerson.

  28. badcallsfootball says: Feb 19, 2011 11:52 PM

    goombar2 says: Feb 19, 2011 11:17 PM

    The thumbs down come from Pervy and his viking friends. A bunch of real class acts.

    Anyway, I feel bad for the family and I’m hoping more can be done for players safety and that players themselves follow the rules and sit if they have been concussed.

    I really can’t understand how every post on PFT has idiots who for some reason feel the need to mention the vikings. This has NOTHING to do with the vikings, seriously, get a life!

    just like the pathetic packer fans that come on here 20 minutes after the super bowl to comment on meaningless non-stories about 3rd stringers on the vikings. I honestly pity anyone who’s life is that pathetic.

  29. iavikefan says: Feb 19, 2011 11:53 PM

    What kind of inconsiderate, immature, heartless, pea-brained idiot TOOL gives a thumbs down to someone saying R.I.P.? This is a human life we’re talking about here!!! The Duerson family has our sympathies, and may he truly find the peace in eternity that he was not able to find here on earth.

  30. badcallsfootball says: Feb 19, 2011 11:57 PM

    goombar2 says: Feb 19, 2011 11:17 PM

    The thumbs down come from Pervy and his viking friends. A bunch of real class acts.

    Anyway, I feel bad for the family and I’m hoping more can be done for players safety and that players themselves follow the rules and sit if they have been concussed.


    We are talking about a man who took his own life here, and you somehow want to link it to the vikings and one poster on this site, and you talk about “class acts”

    LMFAO what a hypocrite

    What is the obsession with the vikings seriously. You dont see vikings fans commenting on ever meaningless story and taking shots at every other team in the league, so why do packer fans do it to them? Sad that even after a SB championship Packer fans are STILL obsessed with the vikings.

  31. madesian says: Feb 20, 2011 12:40 AM

    people shouldn’t blame football. if an accountant killed themselves we wouldn’t be blaming math.

    sad story though, condolences to his family and friends, death is never an easy thing to deal with. RIP

  32. mataug says: Feb 20, 2011 1:07 AM

    A part of me died on reading this.

  33. pervyharvin says: Feb 20, 2011 1:31 AM

    goombar2 says: Feb 19, 2011 11:17 PM

    The thumbs down come from Pervy and his viking friends. A bunch of real class acts.
    Listen up little man, you best get your facts in order before you point fingers. I can be the biggest jerk and am proud of it. When it comes to a persons life I don’t play son. I was the first to post about the pathetic thumb downs on sincere posts. Your little witch hunt made you look like the fool tonight,embrace it.

  34. goremama says: Feb 20, 2011 1:55 AM

    No hero here, just another cowardly way out. Feel sorry for his family.

  35. gridassassin says: Feb 20, 2011 2:46 AM

    An interview done with Duerson showing his passion for the players and the NFLPA:

  36. goawayeverybody says: Feb 20, 2011 3:14 AM

    Yes this is probably the saddest story I’ve seen in a while. My heart goes out to his family. To be aware of one’s own declining health is pure torture. I watched it happen to my grandfather.

  37. poochkicker77 says: Feb 20, 2011 3:31 AM

    Best Tecmo Bowl kick return man of all-time so sad R.I.P

  38. packersrule12 says: Feb 20, 2011 7:26 AM

    “No hero here, just another cowardly way out. Feel sorry for his family.”
    Yes, now the family will feel the guilt and be left wondering what they could of done to change the outcome. Sad, very sad.

  39. jjpileggi says: Feb 20, 2011 8:53 AM

    It may be a fantasy, but perhaps the current labor negotiators will think a bit about this tragedy and ask if two more games is really a good idea. It seems like science and technology cannot get much further in terms of a helmet that protects against the constant collision and resulting damage. Study groups, industry task forces and management discussion is very nice, but does nothing to alter that fact. Why make it worse? Two more games on top of an already long season? Even if they are replacements for pre-season games, they are still high level competition replacing rookie auditions or half speed play.

    Mature markets make for a slower pace of revenue growth. Economic enterprises sometimes can be very shortsighted at times such as that.

  40. bucforever says: Feb 20, 2011 9:10 AM

    We all forget the dark side of a sport we all love. This is another sad and tragic story about the players who put their future health and well being on the line in the name of intertainment. Let’s hope some good comes out of Duerson’s last wishes. My prayers to the family for their loss.

  41. tpanorseman says: Feb 20, 2011 9:59 AM

    First read about this in the paper, there was no mention of CTE and still my first thought was how many concussions did he suffer playing football, including as a child … if your kid plays football please teach him to tackle with his head up – hit with the breastplate like John Lynch (usually) did.

  42. wafflestomp says: Feb 20, 2011 10:13 AM

    My apologies…..but, this post is directed towards perv and badcallsfootball.

    Please stop with the mock indignation.
    Though there is no definite reason to suspect viking fans are behind the thumbs down responses, your fan base has been piling on other teams news posts for years.

    Obsession? Take a good long look in the mirror.
    I’ve never seen Lion or Bear fans spew such bile and hate as your fans have on this site.
    Again, if your fan base wouldn’t act like a bunch of classless assclowns, you wouldn’t get these kinds of accusations. You reap what you sow.
    Deal with it.

    Please don’t pretend to not know what I’m talking about, you will only make yourself look foolish. Not a stretch, I’m sure.

    Now I bet one of you will come back with a Packer fan started it (how original) post. Please, just let it go.

    Again, I am extremely sorry, Bear fans, that this dirty laundry had to be aired on this particular post. But, sometimes when you deal with children……..

  43. toe4 says: Feb 20, 2011 10:15 AM

    Who are you evil people that “thumbs down” a “RIP” message?

  44. chuggers says: Feb 20, 2011 10:37 AM


    maybe somebody should study your brain.

  45. goawayeverybody says: Feb 20, 2011 10:54 AM

    Wow, there are some real classy people here at PFT! People who put a thumbs down over messages of condolence.


  46. moochzilla says: Feb 20, 2011 11:03 AM

    If accountants suddenly started killing themselves, of course we wouldn’t blame math. That’s an idiotic analogy. Maybe if we found accountants were working 80 hour weeks every week of the year, we’d make that connection.

    If there is something unique to their job situation, you could make a connection.

    Think of soldiers. We now see that with multiple combat deployments there is an effect on the state of their minds. So when those groups start killing themselves the nation demands better treatment / counseling / funding for programs to stop address the problems they face.

    Oh, I forgot. Civilians could care less about the troops. No such demands are being made. In fact, loudmouth tea party people want less funding.

  47. jtsel81 says: Feb 20, 2011 12:13 PM

    RIP DD…. Thanks for everything as a Bear & an Irishman!!! Thoughts & Prayers to family and friends.

  48. lilsmoky says: Feb 22, 2011 1:11 AM

    Makes me think of all the comments regarding how concussions are just a part of the game. Is this just part of the game too guys? Are we taking them too seriously and ruining the game for you?

    I only hope that in DD’s death more ammo is provided to help stop this from happening in the future. 18 games, sheesh!

    Note to NFL players: wear the new helmets, who cares if they squish your face!

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