As expected, the brain of former Bears safety Dave Duerson was determined to contain evidence of Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy.
The NFL has responded to the news.
“We once again express our deepest sympathy to the Duerson family,” the league said in a statement. “Dave Duerson was an outstanding player, but an even better person, including being recognized in 1987 as the NFL Man of the Year (now the Walter Payton Award) for his significant contributions to community service. We hope these findings will contribute more to the understanding of CTE.
“Our Head, Neck and Spine Medical Committee will study today’s findings, and as a league we will continue to support the work of the scientists at the Boston University Center and elsewhere to address this issue in a forthright and effective way. We also will continue to ensure that concussions are properly treated in the NFL, expand the help we are providing to our retired players, further evaluate playing rule and policy changes to reduce and prevent unnecessary contact with the head, and advocate for the passage of Lystedt laws in all states to better protect young athletes in that suffer concussions in any sport.”
A total of 16 states and counting have enacted a version of the Lystedt Law, which requires medical clearance of participants in youth sports who have suffered concussions before they can return to practice or competition. First adopted in Washington, similar laws have been passed in Oregon, Virginia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Mexico, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Utah, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Colorado, and Arizona. In three other states — Arkansas, Indiana, and Maryland — legislation is expected to be signed into law soon.