Late former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler was the latest pro football player who was found to have Stage 3 CTE during a postmortem examination of his brain.
Sadly, the news of a former player being posthumously diagnosed with the degenerative brain disease has become a norm. Stabler, who was 69 when he died last summer of colon cancer, was the NFL’s MVP in 1974 and led the Raiders to a championship at Super Bowl XI.
Stabler joins a growing list of over 100 players to be found with CTE. The discovery was made by researchers at Boston University, who told the Washington Post his CTE was “quite severe.”
“He had moderately severe disease,” Dr. Ann McKee, the chief of neuropathology at the V.A. Boston Healthcare System and a professor of neurology and pathology at Boston University School of Medicine, told the Times. She conducted the examination of Stabler’s brain and found him to have Stage 3 CTE on a 1 to 4 scale, with 4 being the most severe. “Pretty classic. It may be surprising since he was a quarterback, but certainly the lesions were widespread, and they were quite severe, affecting many regions of the brain.”
The news comes just a week after CTE was found in former New York Giant Tyler Sash, who died of a prescription drug overdose last September. Sash was just 27-years-old, and suffered five concussions in the NFL before being released by the Giants in 2013.
The news simply isn’t surprising anymore which is reflective of how bad this situation is for the NFL. At this point, it would be surprising if a player showed no symptoms of CTE after playing the league.