Junior Seau was a one of a kind player. He showed tenacity and was one of the greatest linebackers of all time. However, it was his life as a retired NFL player that leave people with questions. Seau tragically committed suicide in 2012. The Pro Football Hall of Fame named Junior as part of the 2015 Hall of Fame class. Here is more about the life, death and career of the late Junior Seau:
1. After His Death, Junior Was Diagnosed With CTE
According to ESPN, five brain specialists from the National Institutes of Health looked at Seau’s brain and diagnosed him with CTE. CTE is caused by repeated head trauma and has been found in a number of football players. Some believe Seau did not shoot himself in the head because he wanted to preserve his brain for science.
2. Seau Committed Suicide on May 2, 2012
According to the USA Today, Junior Seau committed suicide on May 2, 2012. Seau shot himself in the chest, a decision that allowed his brain to be preserved for scientific research. Those close to Seau say his actions towards the end of his life were not consistent with who he was. He had a gambling problem and displayed sudden mood swings.
Jay Auwae, a close friend of Junior, told ESPN the following:
I think it came to a boiling point, Junior thought, ‘This is the best way to deal with it, because my head has been hurting my whole life.’ I don’t think he had control with what was going on in his brain. He had too many things planned. He had too many people that loved him.”
3. Junior Had Four Children
Junior and his ex-wife, Gina DeBoer, had three children (Sydney, Jake and Hunter) together. According to the USA Today, the couple divorced in 2002. According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, his oldest son Tyler was from a relationship with his high school girlfriend, Melissa Waldrop.
4. Junior Seau Drove Off a Cliff in 2010
In 2010, Seau was in a car accident where he drove off a cliff. At the time, the accident was believed to be due to Seau falling asleep at the wheel. In light of everything that transpired since, some believe it could have been a suicide attempt. According to ESPN, the incident occurred hours after he had been arrested for suspicion of domestic abuse to his girlfriend.
5. Seau Was Named to the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team
Junior’s football career was one for the ages. According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he was named to the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 1990s, made 12 Pro Bowls and led the San Diego Chargers to the franchise’s first Super Bowl appearance in 1994. He spent time with both the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins but is best known for his 13 seasons with the San Diego Chargers.
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