In today's professional sports landscape, it's inevitable concussions will be discussed in regard to Junior Seau's suicide.
Reports that Seau killed himself via a gunshot to the chest recalls Dave Duerson's 2011 passing. The former Chicago Bears safety shot himself in the chest February 17, requesting his family to, Please, see that my brain is given to the N.F.L.s brain bank.
Duerson's wish was granted; his brain was examined by Boston University's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy.
The finding? C.T.E -- a progressive degenerative condition linked to memory loss, depression, and dementia -- was confirmed.
C.T.E., which can only be diagnosed post-mortem, is caused by repeated head trauma. Concussions are a culprit.
The NFL released a statement regarding BU's findings on Duerson:
We hope these findings will contribute more to the understanding of C.T.E. Our Head, Neck and Spine Medical Committee will study todays findings, and as a league, we will continue to support the work of the scientists at the Boston University Center and elsewhere to address this issue in a forthright and effective way.
It is not yet known if Seau held similar desire to have his brain examined for signs of trauma.
It is not known if concussions are what inflicted depression's hell on Seau's mind.
But this tragedy begs the question: Why is the conversation about head trauma in professional sports only heard when our heads are bowed in silence and it's too late?