Autopsy shows ex-NFL player Ray Easterling had brain damage

AP

Former Falcons safety Ray Easterling, who committed suicide in April, had the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, his widow today.

CTE is associated with repeated concussions and has been found in studying the brains of several deceased NFL players.

Mary Ann Easterling said she suspected that brain damage on the football field led to the changes she saw in her husband during his retirement, when he went from a happy, healthy, successful businessman to a troubled person who had difficulty functioning.

“I was expecting it,” Easterling told the Associated Press. “It verifies all of our suspicions, Ray’s included. . . . I feel affirmed and I feel at peace. It made my heart hurt even more to know he suffered through that.”

Ray Easterling played for the Falcons from 1972 to 1979. In 2011 he joined one of the dozens of lawsuits against the NFL over the effects of concussions.

12 responses to “Autopsy shows ex-NFL player Ray Easterling had brain damage

  1. How does this help the players lawsuit? This is nothing new. The players arguement only has merit if they prove the NFL had information about concussion effects and ignored them. The players arguement is void however, because they often times lie or flat out refuse to come out of games.

  2. Another nail in the coffin…the NFL is slowly dying, one CTE diagnosis at a time.

    Would you let your son play football? Even if only 40% of parents say no, the NFL is doomed…in 20 yrs it will be a shadow of its current self.

    The owners were smart for trying to ram thru a 18 game season..make as much $$$ now before the whole thing goes down the crapper.

  3. Did the autopsy reveal when and what caused the brain damage? People do play a lot of football before they even get to the NFL, you know when the brain is still developing.

    What’s laughable is that you couldn’t have pulled most of theses lawsuit players off the field for injuries at the time, not matter what you said or did, muchless by telling them about possible damage 30-40 years later.

  4. Did the autopsy reveal when and what caused the brain damage? People do play a lot of football before they even get to the NFL, you know when the brain is still developing.

    What’s laughable is that you couldn’t have pulled most of these lawsuit players off the field for injuries at the time, no matter what you said or did, muchless by telling them about possible damage 30-40 years later.

    Biggest question is: How did boxers realize possible ramifications 30 years ago but players didn’t? I mean I certainly wouldn’t need the Surgeon General to tell me that cigarrettes are harmful long term. Common sense.

  5. turdfurgerson68 says:Jul 27, 2012 3:41 PM

    Another nail in the coffin…the NFL is slowly dying, one CTE diagnosis at a time.

    Would you let your son play football? Even if only 40% of parents say no, the NFL is doomed…in 20 yrs it will be a shadow of its current self.

    The owners were smart for trying to ram thru a 18 game season..make as much $$$ now before the whole thing goes down the crapper

    ——————

    I don’t think the NFL is going anywhere. It doesn’t matter what parents say… young people choose to play football themselves. Just like they choose MMA. Another surely brain damage causing sport. No parent would want their kid to be in the UFC but there are plenty of people in sport. It’s also more popular than ever.

    This issue is more about money than anything. Former players that made next to nothing compared to current players are looking to get some cash from the now rich league. I don’t blame them. Concussions and long term brain/body deterioration are not going to ever be completely eliminated by the NFL and eventually people will forget all about it and go on the the next hot topic.

  6. reality is, these guys know what might happen going in…. and they get a huge reward for that risk…

    complaining about it now is money grubbing BS

  7. At least this brings some peace to a family that had to be devastated by the changes that Ray underwent. Hopefully this will help in the grieving process.

  8. When I read a story like this, I can’t help but wonder how many of us have brain damage as well.

    How many sandlot games did we play; most of the time, without a helmet. My friends and I had wars on our makeshift gridiron from age 8 to about 22. There were several knees to the head. We got slammed to the frozen ground hitting head first.

    There were basketball ball games where again, we smashed heads trying to make a move to the hoop. We were taught to dive for lose balls often times hitting a guy’s shin.

    A good pump fake could result in a player being low-bridged where his head would careen of the floor or macadam.

    Baseball games on rotten fields where bad hops zeroed in on our heads. Sandlot games played with no batting helmets with wild pitchers.

    I just wonder if many of us amateur athletes have plague buildup or mild brain damage as well.

  9. Another Friday and all my relevant, on topic, non-obscene comments have been censored. Gee, what a shock? Yeah, it takes Big Men to ensure women aren’t allowed to comment. Kudos NBC.

  10. BTW, I just keep copies of everything that’s censored and examples of what gets through. At some point, I’ll pass it along. Surely someone up the ladder at NBC will find the decisionmaking … interesting.

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