What is CTE?
CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) has been a huge topic in the NFL these days. It’s a neurodegenerative disease found in people who have had multiple head injuries. The disease causes the loss of a neuron function/structure and causes the death of neurons.
Aaron Hernandez, the former Gator and former New England Patriots tight end who committed suicide in his jail cell in April of 2017 was diagnosed with CTE after his death. Hernandez’ lawyer, Jose Baez announced to the public on September 21, 2017, that Hernandez was diagnosed by Dr. Ann McKee from Boston University, the director of the CTE Center at BU.
The images of Aaron Hernandez's brain are shocking. pic.twitter.com/TqHqlSnuH7
— ATTN: (@attn) September 22, 2017
Action against Authorities
Now, Baez is filing a federal lawsuit against the NFL and the Patriots. Baez is suing on behalf of Hernandez’s four-year-old daughter, seeking unspecified damages for loss of parental support. Baez is suing for $20 million. The lawsuit says the Patriots and the NFL were allegedly aware of the dangerous results of repeated head injuries. It also says they refused to disclose the information to Hernandez.
The suit states “Aaron Hernandez succumbed to the symptoms of CTE, as a result of the defendants’ conduct and the injury experienced by Aaron Avielle Hernandez was deprived of the love, affect, society and companionship of her father while he was alive.”
CTE can only be diagnosed in an autopsy. A recent study showed that the signs of this disease were found in 110 of 111 NFL players who had their brains inspected for this.
CTE has 4 stages, and the 27-year-old Hernandez was at stage 3. A person at this stage will have violent mood swings, depression, and other disorders.
— The MMQB (@theMMQB) September 22, 2017
“We were told it was the most severe case they had ever seen for someone of Aaron’s age,” Baez said.
Hernandez was a star for the Florida Gators when they won the 2008 national title. He was troubled as a player at UF, with failing a drug test, a bar fight, and his name coming up in a shooting investigation. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL draft by the New England Patriots.
Hernandez was arrested for Odin Lloyd’s murder in 2013. The Patriots released him after his arrest. He was found guilty of first degree murder in 2015 and was sentenced to life in prison. While on trial he was indicted of a double homicide in 2012, but then acquitted in 2017 of the double homicide. Five days after he was acquitted he was found hanging in his cell, dead and his death was ruled a suicide.