Seau’s death will widen the concussion divide between former, current players

The 2012 draft highlighted the gap between former and current players on the issue of concussions.  With more than 1,500 players now suing the NFL, the league welcomed 253 new draft picks and hundreds of undrafted free agents — none of whom have said “no thanks.”

The shocking death of Junior Seau will serve only to widen that divide.  More and more former players will feel justified in joining the lawsuits.  And no current players will walk away from the game.

It’s a point that came up during Thursday’s PFT Live, and it’s a point that will continue to come up more and more frequently in the coming weeks and months.

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15 responses to “Seau’s death will widen the concussion divide between former, current players

  1. All due respect. Am no doctor, yet I realize this guyhas been out the league just three years. How much of a deterioration of the brain could there be in that span? Of course he could have suffered this early on…H.S College. But a defensive player? How often do these guys suffer concussions? Not that they don’t, but not those whiplashtypes that knock players out and really cause early and long stabding symptoms….this just plays like life issues more than career injury.

  2. There’s reason for that gap on the issue of concussions…its called “Getting to be mondo rich and famous in your 20s ”

    Any 20something that says he would pass up being drafted and a chance at superstardom because of the possible risk of later life brain damage is a liar

  3. The coal miners ( my grandfather was a miner ) go deep into the earth to bring up coal for our electric company so we can have power. And they don’t make big pay checks, and more of them are in serious danger each time they go down so do the players have a beef? Hard to say, no one is making them play’ and the league has sure looked the other way, so who to bless and who to blame? I think both the league and players need to understand the danger of playing, seems like no one is turning the money down. I don’t have the answer, however we will all see how this turns out.Bill

  4. While the hits might have been a factor, who is to say there weren’t other potential causes?

    Ask anyone who loved their job how much they like retirement, especially if they were a larger than life star?

    Given what a phenomenal player and person Seau was, he’s probably been larger than life up until just after he retired.

  5. It is premature speculation that Seau’s death had anything to do with football brain – related damage. There is no report yet from anyone close to him – his current gf, ex-wife, family or friends – that he was suffering from bouts of depression. This is why it is such a shock to everyone who knew him.

  6. No one knows why he killed himself, or even if it was on purpose. It could have been an accident. Its popular to blame concussions, but thousands of others play and don’t kill themselves. He didn’t leave any note, so it still could have been a death by misadventure.

  7. People with and without a history of concussions are capable of suffering from depression.

    Can we please stop trying to connect every single post-career tragedy to concussions?

    RIP #55

  8. I guess the solution is to not play any contact sports. Think of the Olympic teams we would have now that everyone is running track, swimming and curling

  9. Did Seau even suffer that many concussions while in the league? As a Ravens fan I keep up with a guy called Ray Lewis and I can only remember him suffering a concussion once in the past two seasons at least.

  10. These people are grown men making free decisions. No one is forcing anyone to play football. They definitely aren’t putting a gun to their head and forcing them to take the paycheck. It is starting to get under my skin that every tragedy is turned into an attack on pro football.

  11. You’ve used that conceit before: that no player has turned down the NFL yet… that each year 253-ish players enter the league, fully aware of the risk.

    But that is a bit misleading.

    That you might find 253 players to enter the league doesn’t mean that there aren’t other players who make the decision to not pursue an NFL career because they don’t like the long-term effects of repeated head-blows. I heard Freddie Coleman discuss that very decision on ESPN radio the other day.

  12. I’d love to see a study of players from the pre-steroid era. Players of all eras suffered concussions. Not all eras of football did we have steroid usage.

    It’d be interesting to see what impact steroids, HGH, etc coupled with concussions have on the brain.

    The game of football could be forever changed with a landmark ruling for former players against the NFL, and Seau’s suicide, if it’s found to be linked to concussions, in any way, will be a crossing the rubicon moment.

    Kyle Turley is out there calling Junior “valiant” for electing to shoot himself in the chest as opposed to his head. I have to agree with Turley that Seau chose the chest much like Duerson so his brain could be studied, even though we have no note from him indicating that is what he wished.

  13. Personally I think he was depressed from being out of football and out of the limelight. It happens. These players start on the local playground, work hard to perfect their skills so they can get a scholarship and hopefully play pro. It’s a lifetime of hard work and recognition for being the best. Then suddenly it’s over.

    There was a report yesterday that he was arrested a couple years ago for assault (I believe). Afterwards he drove his car off a cliff. Despite telling the police that he fell asleep at the wheel, I think this was probably his first attempt.

    People commit suicide who don’t have concussions. So sad. I really respected the guy and I feel bad he didn’t think there was any other way to escape whatever devils he was fighting.

    RIP…and prayers for his family.

  14. hooterdawg (and those who thumbed up his comment):

    1) a couple of years ago Seau drove his car off the road into a 100 foot ravine, so there’s history.

    2) accidentally shooting yourself in the heart is not likely

    3) he texted “i love you” to his kids right before he did it.

    this was suicide. the cause of the depression can not be diagnosed yet, but there is no doubt that this was suicide.

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