Over the past two years, the National Football League has been dealing with a series of lawsuits that have been filed by former players and their families, claiming that the league failed to properly warn players against the risks involved with participating in the league. These claims stem from the recent diagnoses of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE as it is more commonly known.
CTE is a degenerative brain disease that can cause severe cognitive disorders, including depression, violent mood swings, and suicidal ideation. Due to the nature of the disease and the recency of its discovery, CTE is only diagnosable through a post-mortem autopsy. CTE is believed to be caused by repeated high-impact blows to the head and has been found in many former professional athletes, most notably NFL players. This has left many former NFL players wondering if the symptoms that they are experiencing are due to their participation in the sport.
According to a recent news report, the attorney of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez announced that researchers believe that Hernandez had a case of CTE prior to his suicide death in April of this year. At the time of his death, Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the murder of a semi-professional football player who was dating Hernandez’s fiancé’s sister.