Junior Seau's family is not letting the NFL legend die in vain. San Diego Chargers chaplain Shawn Mitchell told Los Angeles Times that the family of the 43-year-old has come to the decision to allow researchers to study his brain for signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative and progressive disease that can be caused by multiple concussions.
Sharing the news on Thursday, May 3 night, Mitchell first stated, "The family was considering this almost from the beginning, but they didn't want to make any emotional decisions." He continued, "And when they came to a joint decision that absolutely this was the best thing, it was a natural occurrence for the Seau family to go forward."
According to Mitchell, Seau's family took the decision because they want "to help other individuals down the road." The pastor additionally noted that it hasn't been determined on who will study the NFL linebacker's brain, but there is speculation that researchers at Boston University are the most likely candidates to do it.
Seau was found dead in bed with a gunshot wound to the chest at his Oceanside, CA home on Wednesday, May 2 morning by his girlfriend. After a forensic autopsy that included a "full examination of [the] decedent's body and organs," the San Diego Medical Examiner's Office concluded Thursday that the 12-time NFL Pro Bowl linebacker killed himself.
Seau's death raised issue that brain injuries might lead to football players committing suicide. Although he was not known publicly for having had concussions during his 20-year career, his ex-wife Gina told ESPN, "Of course he had. He always bounced back and kept on playing. He's a warrior. That didn't stop him. I don't know what football player hasn't. It's not ballet. It's part of the game."