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Bill Belichick sidesteps CTE talk after Aaron Hernandez diagnosis

25 September, 2017, 00:48 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • NFL plans to fight Aaron Hernandez lawsuit

Hernandez hanged himself in prison in April. "He had a raisin-like brain of a 70-year-old" even though he was 27.

Although many former players assume that may suffer from the degenerative brain disease CTE, there are no known tests that can state whether you have it or not, while you are alive.

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

According to the newspaper, Jenkins-Hernandez's lawsuit alleges that the Patriots and NFL "concealed and misrepresented the risks of repeated traumatic head impacts to NFL players", and "needlessly delayed adoption of rules and league policies related to player health and safety with regard to concussions and subconcussive head trauma". Hernandez was in prison after being convicted of the murder of Odin Lloyd in 2015 and was serving a life sentence.

The CTE Center statement added that he had "severe deposition of tau protein in the frontal lobes of the brain" as well as a "deposition of tau protein in nerve cells around small blood vessels, a unique feature of CTE".

"It was the most severe case they had ever seen", said attorney Jose Baez, who successfully defended Hernandez in the double-murder case this year.

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

He signed a $40 million contract with the Patriots in 2012 at the age of 22. Researchers are seeking to identify genes that may make certain people susceptible to damage from head blows, and they believe drugs and alcohol might also play a role. So when they found a traumatized brain with advanced degeneration from CTE, it rang alarm bells that perhaps other stories haven't.

The diagnosis comes from a Boston University researcher who has studied hundreds of brains from football players, college athletes and even younger players, donated after their deaths.

Joe Lockhart, NFL executive vice president of communications and public affairs, said Friday that the league will "contest the claim vigorously".

The New York Times points out that Hernandez is the "latest former National Football League player to have committed suicide and then been found to have CTE, joining Dave Duerson, Junior Seau, Andre Waters, Ray Easterling and Jovan Belcher, among others".

Hernandez's professional career was not a long one.

Remember Baez has a different goal than those who don't want kids playing football or want the sport banned.

"When hindsight is 20-20, you look back and there are things you might have noticed", he said before pivoting to the most honest thing said in this whole mess.


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