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The deal: An imminent concussions-related settlement reached between the NFL and its former players
Dave Duerson, a safety for the Chicago Bears, New York Giants and Phoenix Cardinals, died by suicide in 2011 at age 50. Mr. Duerson’s suicide note asked his family to give his brain to the NFL’s brain bank for study; he was later found to have had chronic traumatic encephalopathy. His son, Brock, said of his father: “I don’t want people to think just because he was in debt and broke he wanted to end it. CTE took his life. He changed dramatically, but it was eating at his brain. He didn’t know how to fight it.”
Jim McMahon, 54, is a Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the Chicago Bears. Mr. McMahon, who suffered four concussions during his career, has early-stage dementia. “When my friends call and leave me a message ... I’ll read it and delete it before I respond and then I forget who called and left me a message,” he told a television station last year. When he meets people, “I’m asking two minutes later, ‘Who was that?’”
(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
Junior Seau, a Pro Bowl linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, died by suicide last year at age 43. Mr. Seau was never diagnosed with a concussion during his 20-year career with the NFL, but an examination of his brain after his death found signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease.
Kevin Turner, 44, is a former running back with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. Mr. Turner has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. In a documentary, Mr. Turner, known for his hard hits, says he suffered too many concussions to count. “I really believe that had I not played all those years, that I wouldn’t have this condition,” he said in the documentary.
(Matt Rourke/ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Mike Webster, a Hall of Fame centre for the Pittsburgh Steelers, died of a heart attack at age 50 in 2002. In 1999, Mr. Webster was diagnosed with brain damage; he also suffered from depression and amnesia. After his death, he was the first former football player diagnosed with CTE, a finding the NFL disputed at the time.
Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett, 59, is a former running back for the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos. Mr. Dorsett, who is struggling with memory problems, said on Thursday that every day is getting harder for him. “It’s frustrating. Frustrating. And to have a 10-year old daughter who says to her mother, ‘Daddy can’t do this because Daddy won’t remember how to do it,’ it’s not a good feeling.”