Aaron Hernandez’s Short Life and Miserable Death from CTE. Is the NFL Responsible? [VIDEO]

Aaron Hernandez’s Short Life and Miserable Death from CTE. Is the NFL Responsible? [VIDEO]

Aaron Hernandez’s Short Life and Miserable Death from CTE. Is the NFL Responsible? [VIDEO]

Sports fans were shocked, but probably not surprised, to hear that former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez had a severe case of CTE. Its formal name is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Whatever it’s called, however, CTE is a living hell for sufferers and their loved ones as well.

Aaron Hernandez in happier times. Credit: Boston Globe.

As you may recall, Hernandez was in prison for murder when he hanged himself in his cell. He was only 27. Let that sink in. Only 27. Yet a researcher at the CTE Center in Boston stated that Hernandez’s condition was already severe, at stage 3 of 4. In addition, Hernandez’s attorney, Jose Baez, said, “We’re told it was the most severe case they had ever seen for someone of Aaron’s age.”

Moreover, Dr. Bennet Omalu, who drove extensive research into the relationship between football and CTE, believes that CTE accounted for Hernandez’s violent streak, as well as his suicide. He said:

“I am yet to examine the brain of professional football player who does not have CTE or other forms of brain damage. And we have always known for centuries that if you suffer forceful and/or repetitive blows to your head in whatever human activity, you will suffer brain damage.”

So what is CTE, and what does it do to the brain? Here’s what happens. It’s not pretty:

Now Hernandez’s family is suing the NFL and the Patriots for a whopping $20 million. The suit is on behalf of Hernandez’s 4-year-old daughter. As the lawsuit reads, in part:

“Aaron Hernandez succumbed to the symptoms of CTE. As a result of the defendants’ conduct and the injury experienced by Aaron, Avielle Hernandez was deprived of the love, affect, society and companionship of her father while he was alive.”

Hernandez blows kiss to his daughter at murder trial.

The NFL, however, is not taking the suit lying down. They plan to “vigorously” contest the lawsuit. And for the family, it doesn’t look too good. There are too many legal variables entering into the lawsuit.

A legal expert from Sports Illustrated explains why this lawsuit is uphill for the family:

Yet the lawsuit is another blow to the NFL. Attendance at pro games is way down this year, perhaps due to the political showboating of many of the players. For example, the Los Angeles Rams played their home opener before a measly crowd of only 25,000 people. The stadium can hold up to four times that amount. And on Thursday night’s game featuring the Rams vs. the San Francisco 49ers, there appeared to be more empty than occupied seats right before game time.


However, college football attendance is up. Football fans seem eager to embrace college ball instead, but does CTE start at the college level? Or even earlier?

Between politics and CTE, are we seeing a death knell to the popularity of professional football? I’ll probably continue to watch my Kansas City Chiefs on TV, but it won’t be without some nagging guilt feelings. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. And I’ll raise grandmotherly objections in case my little grandson decides to eventually play football. Right now his daddy is directing him towards baseball — a sport he played growing up — and for that I feel a lot of relief.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • Zendo Deb says:

    Of course it begins earlier. There are just fewer dead college football players whose families agree to donate the brains for research. And even more so from high school.

  • I gave up professional football for a number of reasons:

    – The non-stop in-your-face SJW crapola. Professional football used to be something that could unite people from different backgrounds. Now anyone who disagrees with the progressive agenda is demonized by pampered millionaire jocks and NFL honchos.
    – The seemingly endless regular season. Is the eventual Super Bowl winner the best team, or the team with the best luck to avoid injuries?
    – Instant replay. Before, officials had to get the call right the first time. Now, not so much.
    – The expanded playoffs that render the regular season somewhat moot.
    – The ceaseless taunting and trash-talking after just about every play. The more elaborate a player’s touchdown dance is, the less likely it is he will ever make it to the Super Bowl.
    – The chatty, obnoxious sportscasters and commentators (I am positive the Antichrist will turn out to be an ESPN analyst).

  • Brian Brandt says:

    I am of the opinion that all sport above the 12th grade is a plot to separate you from your money.

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