« BACK TO TMZ TMZ

Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Junior Seau

Latest In String of NFL Suicides

... Concussions Blamed

5/2/2012 11:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0502_junior_ray_dave
Junior Seau
is the latest of several former NFL players to commit suicide -- and all the deaths might be linked ... through brain-related injuries sustained during the players' football careers.

Most recently, 62-year-old former Atlanta Falcons player Ray Easterling (center) shot himself last month in his Virginia home. His wife claims the former safety developed symptoms of dementia after his football career.

Easterling filed a federal lawsuit in Philly against the NFL in 2011 over its handling of concussion-related football injuries -- claiming the league intentionally concealed links between the injuries and the game.

Dozens and dozens of similar concussion-related lawsuits have also been filed against the NFL -- but the league insists the allegations are without merit.

50-year-old former Chicago Bears player Dave Duerson (right) was found dead in his Florida home last year from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. 

Before his death, he texted his family asking for his brain to be used for research (hence why he shot himself in the chest). Months later, researcher neurologists at Boston University confirmed Duerson had suffered from a neurodegenerative disease linked to concussions.

It's possible Junior Seau shot himself in the chest for the same reason.

Terrell Owens had TWO near-death encounters involving pills -- most recently on October 6th, when his assistant called 911 claiming the NFL star had OD'd. T.O. nearly died back in 2006 too, after downing 36 Vicodins.

As we reported, Junior Seau drove his truck off a California cliff back in 2010 following a domestic violence arrest. It's unclear if it was a suicide attempt.

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
65 COMMENTS

No Avatar
31.

Larry    

Commentators who poo poo the correlation between mild traumatic brain injury and chronic neuro-cognitive problems resulting in some NFL players taking their lives either have no idea of the extensive literature do***enting this phenomena with our soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan or they are just afraid to admit that some of our heroes are vulnerable. Instead of blaming the players or the league or lawyers, why not just accept the truth and find ways to stop this onslaught.

841 days ago
32.

paul    

it sad but true people who make all this money you think they have everything wealth fame but there is one thing in there life there missing they never know it jesus christ in there life when following god all thing fall into place 1 at a time and see how your life can be change it has for me andmanny sport figure are followers of christ see what doing in there life also ur friend paul.d

841 days ago
33.

Holly    

Football is just ridiculous. No sport is worth your life.

841 days ago
34.

SOA LOVER    

the same thing is happening to our vets--UFC fighters will be next!

841 days ago
35.

AJ    

What's to blame, is going from street recognition, and making a bazillion dollars, to wondering how your going to live the next 40 years of your life, and have a 'regular' job.

841 days ago
36.

Tyler    

Don't forget to add Chris Benoit, the biggest shock/shame in recent memory of any athlete

841 days ago
37.

Justin     

You cant be that screwed in the head if you can tell your family to have your brain looked at after your dead.

841 days ago
38.

GOCOUGS253    

Since I started my research on this problem I have been trying to think of any and all solutions to this problem. Some of these solutions include adding/modifying rules to prevent dangerous tackles, develop some sort of neck brace or pad that helps prevent against dangerous movements, manufacture safer helmets, have longer suspension times for illegal hits, and finally, spread awareness of this growing problem. There is no doubt in my mind that if these solutions were attempted, the NFL would be much safer and the players would live longer happier lives.

841 days ago
39.

charlestipton5    

what i dont get is why people want to point the finger at the NFL. last i checked when these guys decided to play football and make their ultimate goal to join the NFL they knew full well the dangers that such a contact sport entailed. they probably started out in pee wee football and played for their high schools as well as colleges. so to blame the NFL is ludacris. they know how they feel they know their own bodys limitations and should have kept themselves out longer if they wasnt 100 percent recovered. i feel for their families but to point the finger of blame at the NFL is just plain ignorant!!

840 days ago
40.

StudentAthleteGPS    

VERY SAD FOR HIS FAMILY AND MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO THEM…THIS IS THE REASON WHY I CREATED MY OWN PROGRAM TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE….http://m.scrimmagelinementoring.com . WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE INTERNAL INJURIES TO THE SAME DEGREE THAT WE PAY ATTENTION TO KNEE INJURIES, ETC. ONE SOLUTION WOULD BE TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF SERVICE PROVIDERS (PSYCHOTHERAPISTS, MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS, LICENSED CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKERS, ETC.) THAT ARE FORMER STUDENT ATHLETES THEMSELVES, AND HAVE ADVANCED CLINICAL TRAINING.

753 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3

Around The Web