Twelve time NFL Pro Bowl linebacker Junior Seau is dead at the age of 43. Police have confirmed earlier reports that the death is being investigated as an apparent suicide. The former San Diego Charger, Miami Dolphin, and New England Patriot was found at his Oceanside, California home Wednesday morning by a woman who told the police she was his girlfriend with a gunshot wound to his chest.
Cable news outlets just finished running an impromptu and emotional press conference in front of Seau’s home. I have to admit, it was extremely hard to watch. I’m anything but a Chargers fan – or a Dolphins or Patriots fan either for that matter – but I was a fan of Junior Seau as he was a star among stars for my generation. He will be missed. R.I.P.
The Chargers released the following statement:
“Everyone at the Chargers is in complete shock and disbelief right now. We ask everyone to stop what they’re doing and send their prayers to Junior and his family.”
Seau is the second retired N.F.L player to commit suicide in the past few weeks. Ray Easterling, a safety for the Atlanta Falcons in the 1970s and a plaintiff in a high-profile lawsuit against the N.F.L. over its handling of concussion-related injuries, died last month of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The circumstances of Seau’s death instantly raised comparisons to the former ChicagoBears star Dave Duerson. In February 2011, Duerson shot himself in the chest, saying in a note that he wanted his brain donated to the study of football head injuries.