|08-30-2013, 11:30 PM||#1|
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Former Teammate Says Junior Seau's Death Forced NFL To Settle
Former NFL linebacker Gary Plummer told Jim Corbett of USA Today Thursday that he doesn't feel as if star linebacker and friend Junior Seau died in vain, now that the league reached a $765 million settlement with more than 4,500 former players.
Had it not been for his San Diego Chargers teammate's shocking and headline-making suicide in 2012, the league might not have reached a settlement, he said.
Seau died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest at the age of 43 inside his beachfront, Oceanside, Calif. home. He was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a type of degenerative brain damage that had also been found in other deceased former NFL players.
"Had a high-profile player like Junior not committed suicide, I don't think this settlement would have happened,'' Plummer said minutes after the settlement was announced Thursday. "I can remember speaking about this, saying, 'If something good comes of this, then, at least Junior didn't die in vain.' And obviously this is something very good that is coming of this.
"Obviously, I'd rather have Junior around, and (rather have had) the NFL settle without being pushed into it. But you have to look at things positively and just be happy that this settlement occurred."
Plummer believes Seau's death opened the dialogue that ultimately resulted in the deal, which will provide compensation for former players -- depending on their neurological problems -- and money for ongoing care.
Plummer said "dozens of former players" called him the day Seau shot himself.
"They were scared and asking 'Hey, is this going to happen to me?'" Plummer said. "It opened up the dialogue. That dialogue created awareness ... and it made the NFL look bad. The NFL realized (it) had to do something about it."
Source: The Redzone
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