Junior Seau found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 43 in his California home on Wednesday.
The death of Junior Seau comes as a shock to many who continually are witness to the ever-increasing incidents of self-inflicted violence, depression and dementia in former football players.
Junior Seau was a 20-year veteran of the NFL where he was a well-respected and dominant inside linebacker for franchises such as the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots. The career of Junior Seau was one of incredible success in the sport, having been elected to 12 straight Pro Bowls, a Chargers franchise record.
Junior Seau was selected to the NFL’s all-decade team for the ‘90s and was honored as the league’s man of the year award in 1994.
Junior Seau was a member of the Chargers only Super Bowl title following the ’94 season.
The death of Junior Seau has left many shocked and surprised. The Miami Dolphins former coach, Dave Wannstedt, said of the passing that it is “just so tragic” and “hard to believe.”
Gina Seau, the ex-wife of Junior Seau stated, “We have no clues whatsoever. We’re as stunned and shocked as anyone else. We’re horribly saddened. We miss him and we’ll always love him.”
According to police, no suicide-note was found at the scene and it was not immediately clear who owned the gun found near the star’s body. Drugs and alcohol are not suspected as influencing the star’s death.
“You just don’t know what to say. There are so many things you’re thinking about that you did with him, through some good times we had here and some difficult times with the team. I think all of us are going to sit back in the next couple of says and reflect upon our relationship with him over the last years, however long you knew him. I want to remember all of the good thins about him because there are so many great things about this man and what he meant. . . . He was a great leader in this community.” Stated San Diego Chargers President, Dean Spanos, at a news conference,
In 2010, Junior Seau was involved in a car accident after he was arrested during an incident at the Oceanside, CA home he shared with a girlfriend. Drugs and alcohol were not suspected in the 2010 incident either.
The death of Junior Seau brings revived attention to the problem of brain injuries in the NFL. A number of lawsuits have arisen in the past year directed at the NFL including a wrongful-death suit against the league filed by the family of former Chicago Bears safety, Dave Duerson, whose 2011 suicide brought increased scrutiny to how the league handles concussions in its players.
Former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling died just last month after suffering from depression and dementia, a condition many former football players face during and after their playing career.
However, the league intends to address the problem of concussions, depression, dementia and violence in its players it is clear that the football community has lost an admirable man whose passion for the game and energy will cause many to miss him dearly and question the dangerous impact of concussions in players.