Last week, the sports world was shocked by the sad news of the passing of former all-pro NFL linebacker, Junior Seau.
Police reported that Seau’s death was a suicide, a very sad end to one of the greatest people to represent the NFL, on and off the field.
Seau played 20 years in the league with the Dolphins, Patriots and the San Diego Chargers.
During his career, Seau was on 12 Pro Bowl teams, named to the 1990’s all-decade team, and received the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 1994 for his service off the field.
Seau brought the passion and intensity that every football player should bring to the game everyday. He loved his job, and he played that way.
But Seau’s excellence didn’t end on the field; he continued it in the community by starting the Junior Seau Foundation.
In his foundation, Seau’s mission was to “educate and empower young people through the support of child abuse prevention, drug and alcohol awareness, recreational opportunities, anti-juvenile delinquency efforts and complimentary educational programs.”
Before researching information about Seau I had never known of his foundation, but with all of the great things being said about the man he was, it makes sense.
Seau’s suicide comes as a surprise to everyone that knew him or was ever a fan. He was viewed as a very happy person that had so much to live for.
The news of Seau’s death could have made even the most hardened of football fans break down.
During the day, Seau’s friend and teammate, Marcellus Wiley, gave a heartfelt interview that brought the big man to tears.
It was just last season when Seau was inducted into the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame. He was honored before a game, where 71,000 fans chanted his name.
The legacy of Junior Seau will not soon be forgotten, a point that current Chargers president, Dean Spanos, wants to make clear.
“…An icon in our community. He transcended the game. He wasn’t just a football player, he was so much more," said Spanos in a letter to the public after he learned of Seau’s passing.
With the death of Seau, the dark side of the life after the NFL has showed up once again. In the past 25 years, 12 former players have committed suicide.
It’s a growing issue that needs to be looked at now, and if anything positive can come from Seau’s death, it is that it can bring light to the bigger issue of NFL suicides.
Initial reports indicated that Seau’s family was considering donating his brain for research to find out if there was any correlation between Seau’s brain activity and his suicide.
Seau leaves behind two daughters, one son and both parents. Rest in peace Junior Seau, we all hope you are in a better place.