Ex-NFL Star Aaron Hernandez Had Brain Damage, Doctors Say

Posted September 25, 2017

Hernandez's family announced the news late Thursday that Hernandez, who was serving a life term without parole for a murder conviction in a MA jail, had Stage 3 Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

Lawyers for Hernandez are suing the NFL and the New England Patriots over his death after a brain study showed the former football star suffered from a "severe case" of CTE.

Even though doctors did not directly link his aggression to the disease... the lawsuit suggests that -- HIS ATTORNEY alleges that National Football League and the NEW ENGLAND Patriots FOR WHICH HE PLAYED were aware that repeated head hits could lead to brain disease, but still did not do enough to protect Hernandez from such physical trauma.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday on behalf of the former New England Patriots star's daughter.

The lawsuit alleges that the Patriots and the league had a duty to educate and warn Hernandez of the risks and effects of repeated head trauma playing football that could lead to CTE. However, Hernandez was found not guilty in a separate double-murder case just five days before he committed suicide. Hernandez was in prison after being convicted of the murder of Odin Lloyd in 2015 and was serving a life sentence.

According to a statement from the CTE Center, a second neuropathologist from VA Boston Healthcare System confirmed the diagnosis. Most donated brains from former college players studied also showed signs, as did 20 percent of donated brains from high school players, most of whom died by suicide or drug overdoses. "We can not hide our heads in the sand when we see these cases and say, 'maybe not.' If we keep hiding we will keep collecting more cases like Hernandez".

"Aaron suffered from a severe case of CTE", Baez said.

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Of particular concern is repeated head trauma before the age of 13, while the brain is still maturing, he said.

Indeed, in a conference call with reporters on Friday, Joe Lockhart, a spokesman for the league, said that the N.F.L. would "vigorously" fight the suit and that the Hernandez family would "face significant legal issues".

He played three seasons with the Patriots, earning a $40 million contract.

"Even though there has been speculation about behavioral changes due to CTE, no one has proven any correlation", said Dr. Anthony G. Alessi, associate clinical professor of neurology and orthopedics at UConn Health.

"Everyone, including and especially his family, is deeply troubled by this whole thing", Baez said with Jenkins-Hernandez beside him, as reported by the Boston Globe.

Now the question that everyone's asking is whether it's worth it to play football. It's regardless how much the top brass actually knew about the science.