View Full Version : Andre Waters Suicide Tied To Football Concussions

Atlanta Dan
01-18-2007, 08:29 AM
An article in today's New York Times further documents the long term brain damage associated with multiple concussions sustained by NFL players.

Since the former National Football League player Andre Waters killed himself in November, an explanation for his suicide has remained a mystery. But after examining remains of Mr. Waters?s brain, a neuropathologist in Pittsburgh is claiming that Mr. Waters had sustained brain damage from playing football and he says that led to his depression and ultimate death.

The neuropathologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu of the University of Pittsburgh, a leading expert in forensic pathology, determined that Mr. Waters?s brain tissue had degenerated into that of an 85-year-old man with similar characteristics as those of early-stage Alzheimer?s victims. Dr. Omalu said he believed that the damage was either caused or drastically expedited by successive concussions Mr. Waters, 44, had sustained playing football.


The NFL is about as forthcoming in admitting the long term problems associated with players' concussions as the tobacco industry has been with regard to the dangers of smoking.

01-18-2007, 08:45 AM
The NFL is about as forthcoming in admitting the long term problems associated with players' concussions as the tobacco industry has been with regard to the dangers of smoking.

Yep its all about the mighty buck. I like this quote from NFL films announcer John Facenda:

"Football is a rough game and often a cruel one, everytime you lose you die a little bit, you die inside, a portion of you, not all of your organs maybe just your liver, pain is inevitable".

01-18-2007, 12:31 PM
I think as time goes on, the risk becomes greater - because the athletes keep getting stronger, faster, and the collisions more violent - Carson - a linebacker for the Giants during the 80s was on an NFL Films presentation once and he said he got in a serious car wreck early in his career and is car was totalled - he said the pain he felt from the car wreck was nothing compared to what he felt every Monday morning during football season...

01-20-2007, 08:19 AM
That's a shame and once again, RIP Mr. Waters.

Atlanta Dan
01-20-2007, 08:38 AM
This nugget from an ESPN.com article on the NFL response to the Waters-concusssions report:

As usual, you could count on the league and the scientists conducting research for its committee on mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) to channel South Park's Officer Barbrady, who likes to say, "OK, people, move along -? there's nothing to see here." For years, the NFL has maintained there is no scientific evidence connecting concussions to lasting injuries or brain damage while also asserting that its committee is about to look into the matter....

After more than a dozen years of studying concussions, the NFL is -- still -- just getting around to examining the long-term effects of head trauma but still -- still -- refuses to acknowledge the validity of outside research on the subject. As Julian Bailes, chairman of neurosurgery at West Virginia University, told ESPN The Magazine, the MTBI committee "has repeatedly questioned and disagreed with the findings of researchers who didn't come from their own injury group."

What gives?

The explanation is straightforward, if depressing. The NFL has used the work done so far by its concussions committee to justify league practices. And if that research turns out to be flawed, and those practices turn out to be dangerous, the league could face massive liability, financially and legally....

As independent research continues to paint a different picture, the NFL is finding itself pushed further and further out on a limb. It's getting harder to deny the assertions of outside doctors and former players that concussions are linked to lasting problems.

"It's skating on dangerously thin ice to argue that there's no connection between multiple concussions and a decline in brain function, and it's amazing that the league continues to do so," says Chris Nowinski, author of "Head Games: Football's Concussions Crisis." (Nowinski is the man who obtained permission from Waters' family for Omalu to examine Waters' brain.)

Yet it also would be difficult for the NFL to turn its back on its own research and admit it has a long-term concussions problem. The league is well-known in legal circles for tenaciously fighting even minor disability claims, and the last thing it wants to face is a flood of lawsuits by athletes who suffered head injuries and kept playing.

"There is the potential for bankrupting the league pension and disability plan if the NFL had to honor claims of disability brought by players who have concussions," says Michael Kaplen, a New York lawyer who specializes in brain injuries.


Mike Webster's family being required to file suit in district court to obtain disability benefits and then successfully defend on appeal the trial court's verdict in their favor is further evidence of the hardball tactics employed by the NFL (and its lapdog "union" the NFLPA) in an ongoing effort to minimize the consequences of concussions.

01-21-2007, 01:48 AM
The NFL union has got to adopt benefits that take care of its employees and hazards inherit to the profession - call me crazy, but isn't this why unions were created in the first place? - the union's lack of foresight and the league's indifference for so many years is no excuse for bad policies - do they honestly think anybody will believe them when they say they don't have the funds/resources to handle this problem? they don't have the funds to add disability insurance???? come on! - the Webster case is really making Upshaw look like a complete tool!