NFL Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp will reportedly donate his brain when he dies to the Concussion Legacy Foundation for research on possible brain trauma that is caused by years of playing football. Sapp is known as one of the greatest defensive linemen of all-time. He has one Super Bowl ring while playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the year of 2002, which featured one of the greatest defensive cores the NFL has ever seen. He ended his career in 2007 as an Oakland Raider, the same team he defeated with the Bucs to win his only ring.
During the time Sapp was in the league, the NFL was a bit rougher with fewer consequences for blows to the head. Warren was a hard nose tackle that lined up head on with his defenders every time he was on the field. Sapp didn’t have too much of a track record of concussion issues while he played, but it appears now after retirement, he is experiencing possible brain trauma.
“It’s the most frightening feeling, but it’s also a very weakening feeling because you feel like a child. I need help. I need somebody to help me find something that I could’ve found with my eyes closed, in the dead of night, half asleep.”
“You try to [say], ‘All right, I’m gonna get a little more sleep — maybe it’s something I did last night, maybe something I drank,’ or whatever it is. You try to find a reason that it’s not that it’s my brain, that I’m not deteriorating right before my own eyes.”
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, (CTE) was first discovered in the brain of former Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Webster after he committed suicide in 2002. Dr.Bennet Omalu described it as a new brain disease. After being discovered by doing the research on Webster, CTE was being diagnosed as the cause of death much more in retired NFL players.
The league’s concussion matter has become very serious with stricter protocols during and after the game. In order for players to be able to return to the field after a suspected head injury, they have to pass a series of tests. Players have missed a substantial amount of time since the rule has come into play.
Sapp also praised the league and the rules they’ve put in play in order to prevent violent blows taken to the head.
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