Former NFL Player Who Spoke Out Against CTE Found Dead
Former NFL linebacker for the San Fransisco 49ers, Jason Hairston, was found dead in his California home in what’s being called a suicide. Hairston came out in 2016 and announced that he had the controversial condition, CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), which is believed to have been a result of his playing career with both the 49ers and Denver Broncos.
Hairston is well known for his hunting escapades, including some with Donald Trump Jr.
Trump Jr. Called Hairston “an inspiration to all outdoorsmen” on Instagram this week.
View this post on Instagram
Jason, I have no words. I will always remember our adventures and sharing a campfire with you. They will be some of my fondest experiences in the outdoors. You were and will continue to be an inspiration to all outdoorsmen and women for generations to come. Thanks for the friendship and the memories buddy. I’m going to miss you. R.I.P @kuiu_official
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Hairston had just returned from a hunting trip in Alaska, where his friend Rick Young told DailyMail that Hairston was in good spirits.
‘We hit it off pretty good. Super nice guy. Obviously, he was in a sports-driven industry and his hunting passion was phenomenal.
‘What’s great about Jason for me is that his is a true American story of a guy just doing what he wants to do. That’s what it came down to.’
‘When he was at the caribou hunt last week, you would never have guessed he had a problem, ever,’ Young said.
Many believe that Hairston suffered from CTE, a condition that can only be diagnosed after a person has passed away. Hairston began speaking out against the NFL and CTE in 2016. The NFL has suffered losses in the millions both due to their cover-up of CTE, which has garnered the attention of Hollywood movies such as “Concussion” starring Will Smith, as well as their feud with President Trump over players kneeling during the anthem.
Young told DailyMail, “Something was making him not function normal and he knew it and he put up with it for a long time, probably affecting the business.
‘He certainly had something going on. He had a mental disorder that those close to him were aware of. I can’t say for sure but it’s my assumption that that’s what caused it [the suicide].’
Hairston’s family has requested that people send donations to CTE-related research at the Boston University Concussion Legacy Foundation rather than flowers.
Hairston’s hunting apparel company, Kuiu, is said to have generated revenue of $50 million per year. He was not said to have been having any financial issues.
Hairston leaves behind two children and a wife.
The issue of concussions in the NFL remains on the forefront of their public relations dilemmas. Last April, former Green Bay Packers quarterback, and Superbowl champion Brett Favre said he likely absorbed “thousands” of concussions over his playing career. Favre, to a greater extent than Hairston, also advocates for concussion research.
The NFL had a difficult time dealing with the fallout from both concussion issues with former and current players as well as the national anthem problems. Hairston, like many players who speak out as advocates for broader research into CTE, consistently renew focus in an area that causes NFL executives to consistently approach the issue.
Here is Hairston talking to Joe Rogan about his hunting apparel company.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.