Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in April by hanging himself in his prison cell. A new report reveals that the convicted murderer was suffering from stage III CTE.
An examination by Dr. Ann McKee of the Boston University School of Medicine showed that Hernandez had severe Stage III chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, which can cause memory loss, impaired judgment, violent behavior and a bunch of brain-wrecking impairments. The 27-year old’s brain was equivalent to the brain of a 60-year old with the same condition. It was said to be the most severe condition they had ever seen.
“Based on characteristic neuropathological findings, Dr. McKee concluded that Mr. Hernandez had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), Stage 3 out of 4, (Stage 4 being the most severe),” Boston University’s CTE Center, where McKee is the director, said in a statement. It added that a second neuropathologist confirmed the diagnosis.
Hernandez’s fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, has filed a federal lawsuit against the Patriots and NFL on behalf of her and Hernandez’s four-year-old daughter, Avielle Janelle Hernandez.
Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.
McKee’s research has shown that CTE was found in over 100 former NFL players who donated their brains to a study.
The brain of former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher – the 25-year-old player who shot and killed his girlfriend in 2012 before committing suicide at the Chiefs training complex in front of his head coach — showed signs of pervasive brain damage (CTE)
Former NFL great Junior Seau killed himself and was later diagnosed with CTE.
Former Bears player Dave Duerson who committed suicide and left a request for his brain to be donated to science.
FS1’s Cris Carter crystalized the complicated issue of football and CTE for current and former players on First Things First:
.@criscarter80: Am I scared? Yes I’m scared but football has given me everything I love in life.
An emotional Cris Carter on CTE in the NFL pic.twitter.com/nYf7FFpRT0
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) September 22, 2017
On a conference call with reporters on Friday morning, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said the league will “vigorously” defend itself against the lawsuit.