THE FAMILY OF former NFL star Junior Seau will donate his brain for research into repetitive head injuries.
San Diego Chargers chaplain Shawn Mitchell said the family made the decision yesterday.
“The Seau family really has, almost like Junior, a philanthropic approach, where they always desire to help others,” Mitchell said in a phone interview Friday. “The purpose is not initially to discover anything about their son and what led to these tragic circumstances, but rather the betterment of other people and athletes down the road through anything that can be learned through the study.”
Mitchell said he didn’t know where the brain was being sent. He said the family was not speculating as to whether concussions were a factor in Seau’s suicide.
Seau, a standout college and Chargers player, was found dead on Wednesday at his Oceanside home. An autopsy concluded he shot himself in the chest. Some have speculated that brain injuries from football may have played a role in his death, but there’s been no medical confirmation of such damage.
Seau’s ex-wife, Gina, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he sustained concussions during his 20-year NFL career, during which he also played for Miami and New England. Mitchell said he never heard Seau complain about dizziness or headaches.
“With Junior, that would be so outside of his nature because he had an amazing threshold for pain,” Mitchell said.