Police in Southern California have discovered the body of former San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau after he apparently killed himself with a gunshot to the chest.
The method of suicide is similar to that of Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson last February. Duerson left instructions that his brain be examined by a medical team at Boston University investigating Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a brain condition found in boxers, ice hockey players and American footballers who have received blows to the head.
Seau is also the eighth member of the 1994 San Diego Chargers Super Bowl team to die. Three of the other seven died in accidents but another four have died in their late thirties or early forties as the result of drug or heart problems.
The premature deaths of so many apparently fit and relatively young men cannot be a coincidence. It demonstrates the dangers - eliminated or at least restricted in other sports - of allowing players in American football to bulk up (legally or illegally) and then clash heads with each other.