The tragic death of former NFL receiver Vincent Jackson has given rise to many questions. Answers are beginning to emerge.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, appearing Wednesday on Q105 in Tampa, announced one of the key findings of the autopsy report.
Via PewterReport.com, Chronister said that, based on the autopsy, Jackson suffered from “chronic alcoholism.” Chronister, who added that Jackson had “a lot of longstanding health conditions,” said that the toxicology report has not yet been completed.
Jackson was found Monday in a hotel. He’d been staying there since January 11. Chronister said the family believes that Jackson’s circumstances were the result of CTE arising from his years of playing football.
It’s a tragic situation, and it underscores the various challenges faced by former football players as they transition to what Hall of Fame Steelers coach Chuck Noll referred to as their “life’s work.” Hopefully, the sport that has begun in recent years to take the health and safety of current players more seriously will soon take the health and safety of former players more seriously, too.
A fund for past players who have suffered cognitive issues is one thing; it arrived as a strategy for making a major legal headache go away. Moving forward, the challenge will be to take care of the players who choose to keep playing football despite the risks.
Yes, they are well compensated during their careers. They should be. The question is will a slice of the pie ever be used to take care of them in the decades after their names have faded from view.