Fans of the NFL were stunned to hear of the death of former San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots linebacker Junior Seau. Only 43, he died of a gunshot wound to the chest, in an apparent suicide.
Seau is the eighth member of the Chargers' 1994 AFC Championship squad to die, all obviously well before their time. The fact that he is believed to have killed himself using the same method as former Chicago Bear Dave Duerson leads to speculation that he also believed he suffered brain damage over his NFL career, and wished to preserve his brain for autopsy.
In a series of Tweets, former Dallas Cowboys running back and NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith commented on the tragedy.
Life and death comes to us all and it's never easy when you lose someone. My prayers and thoughts are with the family and friends of Jr Seau— Emmitt Smith (@EmmittSmith22) May 2, 2012
Depression & suicide are serious matters and we as current and formerNFL players should demand better treatment. Lack of info...no more!!!— Emmitt Smith (@EmmittSmith22) May 2, 2012
And for you current players who thinkthis issue doesn't effect u. Get your head out of your but. Where u r 2day was his yesterday.— Emmitt Smith (@EmmittSmith22) May 2, 2012
Let's make this clear. Its not about $, It's about people getting the help they need. Depression effects everyone.— Emmitt Smith (@EmmittSmith22) May 2, 2012
I have always respected Emmitt for his contributions to the Dallas Cowboys. Reading through his comments, I also have to respect him for his perspective on this horrible end to a very talented athlete's life.
This is the sad end for Junior Seau, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. But this is not the end of this story for the NFL and their players. Hopefully, something can be done to help the players who fall into depression, no matter what the reason.