Sports | September 22, 2017 11:38 am

Yahoo Sports: That Aaron Hernandez Had CTE Deals Major Blow to NFL

Ex-Patriots player, who committed suicide in prison, was revealed to have severe form of disease.

Former New England Patriots Player Aaron Hernandez Led Violent Life in Prison Before Death
Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez sits at the defense table during his double murder trial at Suffolk Superior Court in Boston on Mar. 2, 2017.(Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Yesterday, it came to light that Aaron Hernandez had severe CTE—and that his family would be suing the NFL and New England Patriots.

All of that spells chaos for the NFL, as Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel argues. Especially, the CTE diagnosis, which was noted to be the severest case ever found in a football player as young as Hernandez (he was 27 and had played just three NFL seasons).

Wetzel calls it “a chilling moment for a sport that is trying everything to both make the game safer and convince young athletes, and their parents, that it is worth playing.” This was clearly a young, talented player, who may have been showing the side-effects of CTE as early as his freshman year of college when he assaulted a Gainesville, Florida, bar owner at the age of 17.

While Hernandez’s CTE diagnosis is not an entrée to (or excuse for) a life of ultraviolence, “in terms of public relations, this is a devastating case for the sport of football,” writes Wetzel. “Not merely the NFL, but already youth leagues and high schools dealing with decreased participation.”