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(ESPN)   Former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling dead from self-inflicted gunshot wound; was among first ex-players to sue NFL   (espn.go.com) divider line 33
    More: Sad, Atlanta, Ray Easterling, NFL, gunshot wound, impulse control, Yvonne Crowder  
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1933 clicks; posted to Sports » on 22 Apr 2012 at 1:37 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-22 01:19:01 AM  
Well, that sucks... :-(
 
2012-04-22 01:34:42 AM  
He was part of the "Grits Blitz" - a cheerful slogan for brain damage.
 
2012-04-22 01:43:49 AM  
"Don't worry, its empt......"
 
2012-04-22 01:45:41 AM  
I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for men who've lived their entire life as the alpha male to be forced to adjust to a life where they need help doing pretty much everything. I really hope this doesn't end up being one of those deals where decades from now, these old-time players' grandchildren end up getting the checks.
 
2012-04-22 01:49:03 AM  
Well, that's one way to bring attention to head injuries.
 
2012-04-22 02:03:33 AM  

Richard Saunders: Well, that's one way to bring attention to head injuries.


I heard Goodell is going to fine him $25k for targetting the head.
 
2012-04-22 02:03:40 AM  

Richard Saunders: Well, that's one way to bring attention to head injuries.


The attention is already there. Just look at the part of the article about Duerson. He shot himself in the CHEST so that he could still donate his brain to study CTE. If that doesn't say something about the importance of this issue, I don't know what will.
 
2012-04-22 02:31:57 AM  
NFL is basically the worst form of corporate cronyism. They are a defacto monopoly, have an unpaid internship program (NCAA), get massive tax payer subsidies by threatening to move and could give two shiats about the long term health and safety of their players.

For all the complaints people had about the NFL Players Union during the strike, they are the only ones working to help their players.
 
2012-04-22 02:42:55 AM  

Ed Willy: For all the complaints people had about the NFL Players Union during the strike, they are the only ones working to help their players.


Sports owners are a universally terrible group of people but the general public always sides with them in labor disputes because they are jealous of pro athletes.
 
2012-04-22 02:57:20 AM  
Sad. I remember watching him play when I was little. Just wait till MMA head injuries start rolling in. Getting kicked in the head repeatedly is way worse than tackling someone.....
 
2012-04-22 03:08:03 AM  
whoa dis sum crazy sh*t
 
2012-04-22 03:37:07 AM  

Ed Willy: NFL is basically the worst form of corporate cronyism. They are a defacto monopoly, have an unpaid internship program (NCAA), get massive tax payer subsidies by threatening to move and could give two shiats about the long term health and safety of their players.

For all the complaints people had about the NFL Players Union during the strike, they are the only ones working to help their players.


Ummmm the players union was striking over getting existing players more money, they weren't getting the old players anything more than a token bone. Other leagues do more to take care of those that came before them than the nflpa, quit thinking they were doing shiat because if they did more people would have been on their side.
 
2012-04-22 04:35:38 AM  
Well, that's no way to help concussions.
 
2012-04-22 05:04:51 AM  

redomega: Richard Saunders: Well, that's one way to bring attention to head injuries.

I heard Goodell is going to fine him $25k for targetting the head.


Had that been the headline, I would have loled
 
2012-04-22 05:55:40 AM  

ElwoodCuse: Ed Willy: For all the complaints people had about the NFL Players Union during the strike, they are the only ones working to help their players.

Sports owners are a universally terrible group of people but the general public always sides with them in labor disputes because they are jealous of pro athletes.


Ironically siding with the billionaire owners that fleece them for millions in tax dollars and not the athletes everyone cares to watch.
 
2012-04-22 06:26:24 AM  
Johnny Unitas, for example, can't hold a ball in his hands anymore - he's got major nerve damage in his throwing arm. Where's his help?
 
2012-04-22 07:19:44 AM  

ElwoodCuse: Ed Willy: For all the complaints people had about the NFL Players Union during the strike, they are the only ones working to help their players.

Sports owners are a universally terrible group of people but the general public always sides with them in labor disputes because they are jealous of pro athletes.


Well put..and true

Heck, the general public sides with GOP over teachers...even though teachers make less money than they do...all because of jealousy of unions.
 
2012-04-22 08:22:10 AM  

redomega: Richard Saunders: Well, that's one way to bring attention to head injuries.

I heard Goodell is going to fine him $25k for targetting the head.


And schedule three benefit games at Wembley Stadium.

\have I mentioned how much I farking hate the London series?
 
2012-04-22 09:06:14 AM  

Harv72b: I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for men who've lived their entire life as the alpha male to be forced to adjust to a life where they need help doing pretty much everything. I really hope this doesn't end up being one of those deals where decades from now, these old-time players' grandchildren end up getting the checks.



This is looking more and more like it will be a long, protracted legal struggle. You're probably spot-on about the grandchildren being the ones to get compensation.

/take care of the guys that built the league!
 
2012-04-22 09:21:34 AM  

Yaxe: Johnny Unitas, for example, can't hold a ball in his hands anymore - he's got major nerve damage in his throwing arm. Where's his help?


I would assume he couldn't hold a ball anymore since he's been dead and buried for 11 years.
 
2012-04-22 10:08:24 AM  
Yea, killed himself, that's the ticket...

/tinfoil
 
2012-04-22 10:11:48 AM  

lerxst2112: Yaxe: Johnny Unitas, for example, can't hold a ball in his hands anymore - he's got major nerve damage in his throwing arm. Where's his help?

I would assume he couldn't hold a ball anymore since he's been dead and buried for 11 years.


Well, decomposing is one way to damage a nerve
 
2012-04-22 10:12:08 AM  

Harv72b: I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for men who've lived their entire life as the alpha male to be forced to adjust to a life where they need help doing pretty much everything.


It sucks & is incredibly humbling (not football related but severe back & leg issues). It isn't the big things but rather the dumb little things that hurt the most. Sitting here on a beautiful Sunday morning, looking out the window at our nice piece of property it occurs to me that it's been over a year since I've been able to walk the 100 yards out back to get out to the pond & look at the frogs. The constant grinding pain can be ignored/lived with but it is just miserable asking your kids to pour you a glass of juice (because the gallon jug weighs too much) or run upstairs to get a forgotten book (because unless it is really important, the only time I go up/down the stairs is getting up in the morning or going to bed at night, it just hurts too much) . I long ago decided that suicide was not & would never be an option, but it is real easy to understand why Ray did it.

I really hope this doesn't end up being one of those deals where decades from now, these old-time players' grandchildren end up getting the checks.

Me too. WIth each team in the NFL worth roughly a billion dollars, it really isn't too much to ask to take care of those who sacrificed their bodies, minds & future quality of life just to put an entertaining brand of football on the field (& translated directly into putting a lot of money into the owner's bank accounts). The players today (some anyway) make enough that spent/saved wisely, can set themselves up for life with only a few years of playing. However, it wasn't that long ago where players needed another job in the off season just to keep the bills paid. They've got to take care of those whose backs they've built their empire upon. It's justified but more importantly it's the right thing to do.
 
2012-04-22 10:12:36 AM  

MilesTeg: Yea, killed himself, that's the ticket...

/tinfoil


It's seems odd that Roger Goodell was no where near the scene when it happened. Almost as if he knew he needed to be elsewhere, to have an alibi...
 
2012-04-22 10:31:11 AM  
I'm sure Dominic Riola sent the family a card telling them it was worth it.
 
2012-04-22 10:31:17 AM  

Recoil Therapy: It sucks & is incredibly humbling (not football related but severe back & leg issues). It isn't the big things but rather the dumb little things that hurt the most. Sitting here on a beautiful Sunday morning, looking out the window at our nice piece of property it occurs to me that it's been over a year since I've been able to walk the 100 yards out back to get out to the pond & look at the frogs. The constant grinding pain can be ignored/lived with but it is just miserable asking your kids to pour you a glass of juice (because the gallon jug weighs too much) or run upstairs to get a forgotten book (because unless it is really important, the only time I go up/down the stairs is getting up in the morning or going to bed at night, it just hurts too much) . I long ago decided that suicide was not & would never be an option, but it is real easy to understand why Ray did it.


I know where you're coming from on that. I'll only hit 40 later this year, but I've already been living with almost constant pain for 5 years now (primarily knees & shoulders). It hasn't yet gotten to the point where I can't do every day things, but it will. Even now I can't sleep without taking something to dull the aches.

What's really got to be tough, though, is failing mentally. A professional athlete is somewhat accustomed to physical pain, and knows how to overcome it when necessary and how to work around it on less-important things. But losing the ability to focus on every day life or remember simple things like where you were driving to, that's got to be horrific for anyone and especially a person with a long history of temporary handicaps as they start to realize that there is no surgery or recovery time for the problem.

I think it's only a matter of time before the NFL admits at least partial responsibility for these players and dips into the league coffers to "fix" things, but right now it seems like the league's strategy is to wait for the old-timers to die off before doing anything. Which is a disgrace.
 
2012-04-22 11:39:13 AM  

Harv72b: What's really got to be tough, though, is failing mentally. A professional athlete is somewhat accustomed to physical pain, and knows how to overcome it when necessary and how to work around it on less-important things. But losing the ability to focus on every day life or remember simple things like where you were driving to, that's got to be horrific for anyone and especially a person with a long history of temporary handicaps as they start to realize that there is no surgery or recovery time for the problem.


I think you're right about this. In my (admittedly limited) experience, chronic mental/emotional pain is much worse than chronic physical pain. Even though they both suck (and can feed off of each other), it seems to be a lot harder to deal with something that has no concrete solution (surgery, medication, etc.).

CSS time: when I was on the rowing team in college, I severely sprained a ligament in my lower back, and for months it hurt pretty badly to do just about anything - even walking, sitting, standing, lying down & resting, simple stuff like that. Still, that injury was easier to deal with knowing that I could recover with physical therapy and take pain medication in the meantime. Same deal when I broke my wrist and ankle and had to have surgery and hardware installed in both - the whole situation sucked, but at least I knew there was a definite timeline for recovery and could tell that progress was being made in my physical therapy sessions. On the other hand, I've suffered from chronic clinical depression since high school, and that has been a constant struggle, even with medication and therapy. There are no quick fixes, no pain pills you can take, and it can be exhausting just trying to get through that emotional pain. Sometimes it's overwhelming. One of my friends committed suicide earlier this month after struggling with depression for years, and although I'm doing better these days, I understood. I know my situation isn't the same as what these players are going through, but I see some similarities and man, do they suck. :-/ I hope somehow the NFL does right by these guys.
 
2012-04-22 11:41:56 AM  
this is going to be a very interesting court case. the evidence is probably there, but it will tough presenting it. dementia, memory loss, and cognitive decline is not uncommon in the general population. suicide is not uncommon either. the nfl will be looking for every healthy, retired veteran to show that football does not have long term negative effects to one's health
 
2012-04-22 11:54:44 AM  

redomega: Richard Saunders: Well, that's one way to bring attention to head injuries.

I heard Goodell is going to fine him $25k for targetting the head.


Hah! Well done.
 
2012-04-22 12:13:27 PM  

Harv72b: What's really got to be tough, though, is failing mentally. A professional athlete is somewhat accustomed to physical pain, and knows how to overcome it when necessary and how to work around it on less-important things. But losing the ability to focus on every day life or remember simple things like where you were driving to, that's got to be horrific for anyone and especially a person with a long history of temporary handicaps as they start to realize that there is no surgery or recovery time for the problem.


I was going to mention that aspect as well... but it slipped my mind :-p

While things are miserable for me most all of the time I am so thankful that it isn't brain/mental issues that are beating me down. I am a huge hockey fan & there is currently a large discussion going on over pretty much the same issue (hits to the head & the long term effects of it). From everything I've read, my life as it is (constant pain, limited mobility, etc) is 100 times better than someone who's had multiple concussion issues. Knowing what you used to be like & then comparing it to your life now with the unending migraine headache, memory loss, emotionally unstable, etc, I really can't fault the man for choosing his final option. My life sucks horribly, there is no doubt about that at all however every day I thank whatever deity you want to insert here because all things considered I really don't have it that bad.

One other group of people who have many of the same issues facing them (& are far, far, far from well paid) are the assorted military members who've been near the assorted ieds/explosions over the decade or so of war that we've been involved in. I hate to sound like my tin foil is on too tight but I'm sure that there are plenty in the government that don't want a link found between brain injuries & long term disability/quality of life issues. With the potentially thousands & thousands of people exposed/eligible & billions upon billions in future payments that would have to be made, I'm sure they would be happy to have it quietly swept under the rug.

It isn't an issue with easy fixes or pleasant to contemplate, but it is one that needs to be dealt with & the right thing has to be done for all of these people who've essentially sacrificed their lives/quality of life for the team owners/government.
 
2012-04-22 12:52:35 PM  

Recoil Therapy: One other group of people who have many of the same issues facing them (& are far, far, far from well paid) are the assorted military members who've been near the assorted ieds/explosions over the decade or so of war that we've been involved in. I hate to sound like my tin foil is on too tight but I'm sure that there are plenty in the government that don't want a link found between brain injuries & long term disability/quality of life issues. With the potentially thousands & thousands of people exposed/eligible & billions upon billions in future payments that would have to be made, I'm sure they would be happy to have it quietly swept under the rug.


The one thing that veterans have going for them over pro athletes is that when you go far enough up the chain, the leaders who are responsible for their long-term care are elected officials who understand that the public is going to side with the soldiers pretty much every single time. That said, there's a long history in this nation of veterans' issues being ignored by the VA until public outcry got to extreme levels, which will likely continue.

I never went anywhere near a combat zone, but just every day life in the military carries more than its share of physical issues and blows to the head. Even with your helmet on, believe me--it smarts when you smack your skull against an armored surface. Much like the NFL or NHL, the helmets do help, but only so much. And, much like the NFL or NHL, the prevailing attitude is that you shake the cobwebs out & get back to your job.

becksellent: CSS time: when I was on the rowing team in college, I severely sprained a ligament in my lower back, and for months it hurt pretty badly to do just about anything - even walking, sitting, standing, lying down & resting, simple stuff like that. Still, that injury was easier to deal with knowing that I could recover with physical therapy and take pain medication in the meantime. Same deal when I broke my wrist and ankle and had to have surgery and hardware installed in both - the whole situation sucked, but at least I knew there was a definite timeline for recovery and could tell that progress was being made in my physical therapy sessions. On the other hand, I've suffered from chronic clinical depression since high school, and that has been a constant struggle, even with medication and therapy. There are no quick fixes, no pain pills you can take, and it can be exhausting just trying to get through that emotional pain. Sometimes it's overwhelming. One of my friends committed suicide earlier this month after struggling with depression for years, and although I'm doing better these days, I understood. I know my situation isn't the same as what these players are going through, but I see some similarities and man, do they suck. :-/ I hope somehow the NFL does right by these guys.


My own CSB: Literally the day I got out of the Army, I blew out my knee. Went on post for the last time, signed my final discharge papers, then some friends were having a party for me that night. I got all liquored up and wound up in the back yard with some other people, chasing after a tennis ball of all things, when I planted my right foot and the foot went one way while the rest of my leg went another. I vividly recall thinking at the time that, as much as it hurt then (being shiatty drunk), I'd probably messed something up big time. But, no medical coverage anymore and since I have testicles I'm not allowed to worry about pain, so I gimped around and eventually it got better. By "eventually" I mean after about 3 months.

Very sorry to hear about your friend. :(
 
2012-04-22 03:09:21 PM  

Harv72b: CSB


Torn knee ligaments don't just "get better." What typically happens is your body learns to move without whatever ligament you wrecked, and eventually the pain goes away. This does not mean you're healthy in any way, and you're likely to develop a very painful and very permanent case of arthritis in that joint. I'd probably get yourself checked out.
 
2012-04-22 03:55:55 PM  
Roger Goddell later announced that he was fining Easterling $500K for actions "detrimental to the NFL".
 
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