Head Injuries and Mary Seau Foundation

Posted Monday, April 23, 2018 by Ed Harper

Head Injuries and Junior Seau FoundationRecently the family of Junior Seau, a prolific and successful linebacker from a Super Bowl contending team, and my alma mater USC, had a symposium on head injuries. It has been now confirmed by Boston University scientist Ann McKee MD that Junior Seau, who committed suicide in 2012, at 43, had CTE – chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Seau tragically took his own life by shooting himself in the chest; the cause was later discovered to be due the ramifications of his brain injury. It was also found he shot himself in the chest to allow scientists to study his brain regarding the effects of CTE.

Seau had been an outstanding football player and multi-sport start since early in his life. He played linebacker, one of the more physically traumatic positions in football. He graduated with a 3.6 GPA from Oceanside High School in Oceanside California in the late 1980’s. Ultimately he had a very successful college career at USC and was later drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 1st round of the NFL draft. He had a long and distinguished career in the NFL ultimately playing for the New England Patriots, and the Miami Dolphins. He was a 10-time All-Pro, 12-time Pro Bowl selection, a member of the NFL 1990’s All-Decade Team, and he was named to the NFL Hall of Fame after his death.

Studies have shown that repeated brain trauma, especially at an early age prior to high school, severely injure the brain, and football organizations are paying the price. The movie League of Denial movie is informative regarding the NFL and its unwillingness to offer the truth regarding concussions and their effect on players. Pop Warner Youth Football is also being sued in the Southern California federal court regarding two young people who committed suicide in their early 20s. Their parents are bringing claims against Youth Football for allowing their children to continue playing amidst violent head trauma.

There have also been proposals to ban youth tackle football until high school. This will give young football players to grow through adolescence and have their brains more developed before participating in this violent endeavor.The Mary Seau Foundation, started by the sister of Junior Seau, is in the process helping to illuminate this problem that has taken countless lives.

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