NFL Stars To Donate Brains For Research

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Stepping up to support research for brain disease, New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford and former Seattle Seahawks receiver Sidney Rice have pledged to donate their brains for medical research after their deaths. After winning the Super Bowl last year, at 27, Rice is retiring over fears of the future effects of head injuries, while Weatherford claims that he has seen the effects it had on teammates and friends. Many ex-football players suffer the long-term effects of head injuries, with 111 concussions registered during the 2014 regular season alone (The Associated Press). Frontline has also reported that based on data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs brain repository, there are signs of degenerative brain disease in 76 of the 79 former National Football League (NFL) players it has examined. With a federal judge in April approving the settlement of a lawsuit from more than 5000 former players who accused the NFL of concealing the effects of concussions, and players like Weatherford and Seahawks coming forward, perhaps it's a step to recognize the impact of head related injuries in football and other contact sports.