In light of studies about chronic traumatic encephalopathy, many former NFL players have decided to have their brains donated for research after their deaths. Most notably, the brains of Dave Duerson and Junior Seau — both of whom took their own lives — were donated to Boston University, which found signs of CTE on both ex-players’ brains.
Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk became one of the few active players to join that donation list. He told The Star Tribune on Thursday that he will donate his brain when he passes away.
“Terrible pun, but it’s a no-brainer,” Birk said.
“Once you’re gone, you’re gone,” Birk added. “And if some of your organs or body parts can help somebody else or help further the understanding of the effects of football, then I’m all for it.”
Birk, 36, said he is worried about the long-term effects of the game he plays.
“You just don’t know, that’s the thing,” said Birk, who has sustained three concussions that he knows of since high school. “Yeah, it’s scary.”
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor