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Hall of Famer Diagnosed with CTE

2015 November 25
by Paul Anderson

A man that contributed so much to the game provided one last contribution upon his death: The reality that football can cause brain disease.

Gifford’s family announced that the Hall of Famer was diagnosed with CTE. In a statement released on Wednesday, the family disclosed the news:

While Frank passed away from natural causes this past August at the age of 84, our suspicions that he was suffering from the debilitating effects of head trauma were confirmed when a team of pathologists recently diagnosed his condition[.]

The family said the reason why they made the donation was to contribute to “the advancement of medical research concerning the link between football and traumatic brain injury.”

We miss him every day, now more than ever, but find comfort in knowing that by disclosing his condition we might contribute positively to the ongoing conversation that needs to be had; that he might be an inspiration for others suffering with this disease that needs to be addressed in the present; and that we might be a small part of the solution to an urgent problem concerning anyone involved with football, at any level.

This is a remarkable act for a family whose lives have been tied to football for decades. Hopefully this will encourage more families to step forward and donate their loved one’s brain.

This diagnosis also raises another unfortunate reminder about the deficiencies of the NFL Concussion Settlement. Since Gifford died after April 22, 2015¬†(the date of final approval), he will receive zilch under the settlement despite “suffering from the debilitating effects” of CTE.

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