The autopsy of a deceased National Football League athlete reveals some troubling news about his health and the toll that the game of football may have taken on his mind, as well as his body. As reported by ABC News, an autopsy of the former linebacker’s body revealed that he suffered from a degenerative brain disease.
Adrian Robinson, Jr. spent his life playing football. After playing at Temple University, he first entered the NFL in 2012, after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Over the next few years, he bounced around between a few teams before signing with the Canadian Football League in April of 2015. A month later, Robinson reportedly took his own life by hanging himself.
The results of an autopsy reportedly confirmed that Robinson had a brain injury called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Researchers reportedly state that the disease was likely caused by years of playing football, where he experienced numerous concussions and trauma to the head. According to the report, Robinson’s family has not filed any lawsuits in regards to his death. However, it was only a little over one year ago that the family of another deceased player sued the NFL regarding his suicide.
Paul Oliver was a defensive back who played for the New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers. In 2013, he also took his own life. His family sued the NFL, alleging that he suffered TBIS related to continuous head traumas and concussions. As with Robinson, his autopsy also revealed a diagnosis of (CTE), along with other brain injuries.
What is CTE?
CTE is a neurodegenerative disease, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), which means that it causes the neurons of the brain to progressively decrease. The condition is common among athletes who take successive hits to the head. Symptoms of the condition include the following:
*Lack of impulse control
*Cognitive skill deterioration
*Severe depression and suicidal tendencies
The NFL’s Brain Injury Troubles
The Oliver family lawsuit names the NFL, as well as the San Diego and the New Orleans Saints LLC. Easton-Bell Sports and helmet maker Riddell are also included as defendants. It is one of many that the NFL has faced in recent years over the issue of TBIs.
While the league does not acknowledge any wrongdoing, it has agreed to pay into a fund to settle injury claims to include CTE-related suicides. While a federal judge has approved the settlement, the deal is still on appeal.
The possible connection between CTEs and suicide is still up for debate among medical professionals. The debate has even led to Congressional hearings and new instituted rules regarding student and professional athletes.
Brain injuries are serious matters with lasting physical, mental and financial effects for the injured party and the family. If you or a family member has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to the actions of another, contact Levin & Perconti at (312) 332-2872 for a free consultation.