WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The suicide of Junior Seau has shaken the NFL to its core. Anybody who saw Seau’s mother break down outside of his Oceanside, California home on Wednesday knows the longtime linebacker’s death extends far beyond the game.
As circumstances surrounding his death continued to come to light Wednesday afternoon, speculation turned to whether the suicide could have been a result of the lasting effects of a career in a violent sport.
In 2011, former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson committed suicide with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. He requested researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine examine his brain for chronic traumatic encephalopahty, which can trigger mental illness and lead to depression.
Following the exam, Neurologists confirmed that Duerson did suffer from a neurodegenerative disease linked to concussions.
It is unclear whether Seau’s brain will be examined for similar symptoms.
“If it comes out that that’s why he did that, that’s really big,” former Washington Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington said Wednesday afternoon on 106.7 The Fan. “That’s really big.”
SAD LOST A FRIEND TODAY!! REST IN PEACE MY BROTHER! 55 JUNIOR SEAU ONE OF THE GREATEST EVER AS A PLAYER AND A PERSON—
LaVar Leap Arrington (@LaVarArrington) May 02, 2012
Arrington and Seau were friends dating back to their time in the NFL and recently spent time together during LaVar’s trip to Southern California.
“He seemed happy. He seemed in his element,” Arrington recalled. “I mean we had a great time just a month or so ago. . . It wasn’t that long ago.”
The linebacker turned radio host excused himself from portions of the broadcast both to regain his composure and to reach out to friends and family.
“It’s really sad,” a largely speechless Arrington repeated.