Suicide in the NFL

Retired NFL player Thomas Jones talks about players who have committed suicide and how that has influenced how he thinks about football, living, and dying.

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[Thomas Jones] I think there's definitely been change with what's happened—you know—lately. With a lot of the suicides, because—you know—that's as serious as it can get. Someone taking their own life. And especially the way they are taking their lives. You know, Dave Duerson, Junior Seau. These guys shot themselves in the chest—which would seem that they would want their brains—you know—looked at. To see what was going on to help someone else. Just that alone is disturbing—to know that Dave Duerson committed suicide, and he sent a text message to his wife and asked her to make sure his brain was donated. And also you know—he was—he left all his paperwork. Everything—his will—everything out, and was nude in his bed shot through the chest in a sunny house in Florida, which is probably about 15 minutes from where I live. And he played for the Chicago Bears. I played for the Bears. He had a lot of businesses. He was very, very well-liked in Chicago. He was a very, very good businessman. You know—I look at Dave Duerson, and there's a lot of similarities. So you know for me it hits home. It's not just a story. It's not just news. It's not just scrolling across ESPN. This was a guy who was well-liked, who seemed he had the world in the palm of his hands, but there was something going on his brain that he couldn't control, and he couldn't take anymore. So that's why my documentary, hopefully, people will be able to see us more as human beings. And in that hour that they are watching it, maybe get away from the money and the perks and the positives that come with being an NFL player. They'll get to see, "Hey listen—you know—money can't buy everything."
Posted on BrainLine August 19, 2013.

Produced by Noel Gunther and Erica Queen, BrainLine.