Autopsy report: Vincent Jackson suffered from chronic alcoholism

NFL: OCT 04 Panthers at Buccaneers
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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, 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.

12 responses to “Autopsy report: Vincent Jackson suffered from chronic alcoholism

  1. This is so sad and tragic, only. 38 years old… I lost my brother when he was 45, to similar things. Those if us that don’t or relate to or understand these things won’t. Do not judge. Prayers for Vincent, and his family.

  2. Another human taken down by the disease of addiction. When I heard he was in an extended stay hotel and not at home with his family I thought we would find something like this out. This is all too common, he isn’t the first and won’t be the last. RIP

  3. It’s always hard to read stories like this. These guys are given one in a million athletic skills and Greek-god physiques and just throw it all away. Addiction is something I don’t think anyone can really understand unless they’ve been there.

  4. Someday the USA will treat alcoholism and drug addiction as public health/mental health issues instead of criminal or moral failings.

  5. I couldn’t agree with this more. We should actually thank any players we meet, past or present, for putting their health on the line to provide us entertainment. I know the current guys are paid well, but the long-term sacrifices too often outweigh those rewards. Always remember: healthy is wealthy!

  6. That is so sad. My prayers and condolences go out to his family, friends, and teammates. CTE ruins lives.

  7. Terrible story for sure. We are mourning here in Tampa he was a great man and very loved by all and a beast of a player. RIP young man gone too soon!

  8. Very sad, we recently lost a friend at the age of 29 to alcholism.

    Its a terrible disease and it needs to be taken much more seriously in this country.

  9. If the players want to improve there careens with health as the issues then as any union worker knows the NFL will only change when the money stops. And when the players are willing to walk. Bill

  10. I hope it’s not CTE because 38 is so young and a lot of players who get hit on every play, e.g., linemen and linebackers – seem to have a higher incidence for it.

    I want to change the subject though in that one of the lesser known national stories about Vincent Jackson – is still well known to his fans in San Diego – and it had nothing to do with his ability to jump high and snatch footballs that others couldn’t. When Vincent entered the NFL – he was judged as gifted – with severe character flaws, e.g., immature, self-centered and oddly detached. He was arrested twice for DUI – and most memorable – on the morning of the NFL divisional playoffs (January 2010) – he was caught driving with a suspended license and expired tags.

    So he had to hitch a ride with QB Philip Rivers to get to the stadium for a PLAYOFF game. (He put up great numbers in that game, though, in a loss to the NY Jets.)

    The next season, the league suspended Jackson for three games for one of his DUIs – while at the same time, he held out for a long-term deal with the Chargers. When Jackson returned – the Chargers won 4 of its last 5 games. But because the team opened 5-6 without him – it finished 9-7 and out of the playoffs. During his holdout, he was judged as selfish and the Chargers – noting Jackson’s behavior at the end of the prior season and how he almost missed a playoff game – decided it would never give him a long-term deal.

    So he goes to Tampa and proves he’s still a great player – but more important – he remolds his image as a lights-out model citizen and philanthropist. It was an amazing transformation and proof that a change of scenery can work wonders. Or maybe it’s just because as players age, they naturally mature in every way.

    The Vincent Jackson story is sad – but it’s also great when you consider how poorly he was judged as a man – and how he turned it all around when he joined the Buccaneers. From diva to beloved do-gooder. Whether it was CTE or alcohol, he had a helluva second act in the NFL. An amazing player.

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