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Convicted Murderer Aaron Hernandez Had CTE, Attorney Says
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Aaron Hernandez

Summary: Aaron Hernandez’s lawyer said that he had CTE from his time playing in the NFL.

The family of Aaron Hernandez is suing the NFL and the New England Patriots. Hernandez was a once prominent football player who was convicted of murder. He killed himself in his jail cell, and his tragic story had many wondering–why. After testing, the health of his brain may provide some answers.


On Thursday, Hernandez’s lawyer, Jose Baez, who famously represented Casey Anthony, gave a press conference. According to CBS News, an autopsy showed that Hernandez’s brain showed severe signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head.

At the press conference, Baez said that he was filing a federal lawsuit against the NFL and Hernandez’s former team the New England Patriots. Concussion-related lawsuits have been a problem for the NFL, the football organization that has been repeatedly been accused of not protecting its players from concussion-related permanent injury.

“Aaron Hernandez succumbed to the symptoms of CTE,” the lawsuit stated. “As a result of the defendants’ conduct and the injury experienced by Aaron, Avielle Hernandez was deprived of the love, affect, society and companionship of her father while he was alive.”

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CTE leads to violent mood swings, depression, and other brain problems. Hernandez’s diagnosis did not come until after his death because the disease can only be diagnosed during an autopsy. In April, the convict hanged himself in his jail cell where he was serving life-without-parole for a 2013 murder.

Boston University’s CTE Center examined Hernandez’s brain, and in a statement released on Thursday, they said that he had CTE Stage 3 of 4, 4 being the most severe. CBS News said that another test involving NFL players found that 110 of 111 studied had CTE.

Before Hernandez’s violent crime, he was known as a star of the Patriots with his fellow teammate Rob Gronkowski. In his second season, which took place in 2011, Hernandez was given a $40 million contract.

But Hernandez changed his positive narrative when he was arrested in 2013 for the murder of semi-pro football player, Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee. Hernandez was found guilty of Lloyd’s murder, and he was serving his sentence before he took his own life at the age of 27.

Attorney Baez said that Hernandez’s condition was one of the worst for someone his age, and researchers from Boston University noted that other football players with CTE had also committed suicide such as Dave Duerson, Andre Waters, and Ray Easterling.

The NFL said that they will contest the lawsuit and that Hernandez is ineligible to sue the organization for concussion-related injury because he did not opt out of a previous concussion class-action settlement with the league. By not opting out, he is now bound by the terms of the settlement, according to attorney David S. Weinstein who spoke to USA Today. 

What do you think of Aaron Hernandez’s story? Let us know in the comments below.


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