Junior Seau was found by his girlfriend Mary Nolan at his home at 600 South The Strand in Oceanside, California dead on the scene with one fatal gunshot wound to the chest and a revolver next to him. Many friends, relatives and fans gathered outside of Seau's home that was donned with beach chairs facing the ocean. Junior Seau's suicide came as a shock to the community in San Diego, Seau's home for most of his life. Junior Seau played in the NFL for 20 seasons, was voted to the Pro Bowl 12 times, and played in 2 Super Bowls, most recently with the New England Patriots in 2007 when they lost to the New York Giants. Junior Seau leaves behind four children, and his 26 year old girlfriend Mary Nolan. Junior Seau was 43 years old. It was rumored that Seau was having domestic problems with his girlfriend and that this may not have been his first attempt at suicide. - Kansas City News
|Seau's SUV after driving off a cliff - Kansas City News
Junior Seau's First Suicide Attempt?Recent actions by Junior Seau had friends and family concerned. In October of 2010, after being arrested for domestic assault against his girlfriend, 26 year old Mary Nolan, Seau drove his SUV off of a cliff in Carlsbad, California, landing some 100 feet on a roadside below. Seau sustained minor injuries and was visited in the hospital by friends and family who were concerned for his mental health. It is impossible to say whether Junior Seau intended to commit suicide when he drove his SUV off of the cliff, but one has to wonder. Seau contented at the time that he was not trying to commit suicide, but simply "fell asleep at the wheel". Anyone who has been involved in a serious fight with their significant other can testify that there is no way that sleep would be in the picture after an incident where just hours before he was arrested and released for domestic violence. The adrenaline would be running too high, and falling asleep while driving just doesn't sound likely, especially following today's terrible news of Junior Seau's suicide. It seems that he had thoughts of suicide before today. - Kansas City News
|Junior Seau with Ex Wife Gina Deboer Seau - Kansas City News
3 Former NFL Players Committed Suicide Recently
Seau's suicide is the third in a string of recent former NFL player suicides. In 2011, Chicago Bears Dave Duerson shot himself in the chest and left a note requesting that his brain be donated to the "Study of Football Head Injuries". Duerson, like Junior Seau, was demonstrating odd behavior towards the end of his life including domestic violence. It is believed that Duerson shot himself in the chest instead of the usual suicide route of a gunshot to the head so that his brain could be studied for proof of damage sustained while playing in the NFL. Suicides involving gunshot wounds are typically not found in the chest, and this raises an interesting question about Junior Seau's suicide, was he also trying to preserve his brain for further study as Dave Duerson had done less than a year ago?
Another recent former NFL player suicide was Atlanta Falcons hard hitting safety Ray Easterling, who committed suicide on April 19th, 2012. Ray Easterling had filed a highly publicized lawsuit against the NFL for their negligence pertaining to head injuries and concussions. His wife Mary Ann said that "after [Easterling's] playing days were over he started to suffer the consequences of the years of bruising hits, he suffered from depression and insomnia, and as his dementia progressed he lost the ability to focus, organize his thoughts and relate to people." - Kansas City News
Former Players Sue The NFL in Growing Numbers
There are now over 1200 former NFL players suing the NFL for damages resulting from head injuries sustained, and consequently ignored by the NFL. Among the players involved in the lawsuits are Chicago Bears Super Bowl MVP Jim McMahon and Green Bay Packers defensive standout Mark Chmura. The lawsuit is demanding that the NFL set up a head injury monitoring program, as well as set up a fund that will pay former NFL players after they leave the league for head injury related difficulties. Where will this all lead? Not to diminish the loss of Easterling and Duerson, but they just didn't have a marquis name like Junior Seau. There is a good possibility that Junior Seau's suicide will trigger a reaction from the NFL. Not just a verbal reaction and a slight variation to the rules of engagement when it comes to big hits in the NFL, but an actual documented change. While the concussions and head injury related fates of former NFL players is a very serious issue, they must admit that they knew the risks involved with the game when they signed up. Football, by nature, is a very violent sport and that is why it is the most popular sport in the United States. Fans watch NASCAR for the wrecks, NFL fans watch football for the big hits. The chance of injury in the NFL is part of the suspense, the thrill. If they take too much of the Gladiator style play out of the NFL, the game will ultimately suffer. Will they eventually make the full switch to flag football? If they do I know that I won't be watching. - Kansas City News
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