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Remembering Junior Seau (1969 - 2012)

Getty Images / Allsport / Jamie Squire

Remembering Junior Seau (1969 - 2012)

Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau spent nearly 20 years in the NFL, earning dozens of honors before his retirement after the 2009 season.

In May 2012, Seau died by suicide, a sad end to an extraordinary life and career. An examination of his body revealed chronic brain damage. Later studies by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded that Seau suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a type of chronic brain damage that has also been found in other deceased former NFL players. Some doctors believe this brain damage contributed to Seau's suicide.

The list of former NFL players with CTE is long, and in recent years, many former professional football players and other athletes have made public their plans to donate their brains to science after they die. Hall of Famer Warren Sapp announced in June, 2017, that when he dies he will donate his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation because "I wanted this game to be better when I left than when I got into it."

Five years after his death, we remember a football great gone too soon. We can thank Junior Seau and his family for helping to make concussions in football a national issue.

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