Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher had some strong accusations for some of his NFL brethren. The longtime Chicago Bears star said there are former players who claimed they had C.T.E. just so they could join in on a lawsuit against the league.
“If they do have [C.T.E.], I feel for them. But there are guys who say they have it just so they can be in the f—ing lawsuit,” Urlacher said recently on Barstool Sports’ Bussin’ With the Boys podcast.
The lawsuit, which was settled in 2013, saw the league dish out $765 million to 4,500 former NFL players. It compensated victims of concussion-related brain injuries $5 million if they had Alzheimer’s disease, $4 million for C.T.E. and $3 million for dementia.
There is a big problem with Urlacher’s claim. A living person cannot be diagnosed with C.T.E. – it must be found posthumously through brain tissue analysis. Plus, I imagine the NFL required some kind of medical proof before they were entitled to millions of dollars in the settlement.
“They want that money from the NFL and I get it, man. You know, everyone wants to get their due. But there are really guys that have it that deserve to be taken care of,” Urlacher explained. “And there are the guys that don’t have it who want to have it just so they can get part of that lawsuit. And that just drives me crazy.”
Urlacher shared that he recently had neck surgery and is recovering from that. He inadvertently revealed some post-football challenges for himself and his former teammates.
“I feel like I’m decently sharp still,” he said. “You know, there are some things I forget, but my friends forget s— too. I feel like I’m still doing pretty well.”
Brian Urlacher’s Comments Accompany Other C.T.E. News
The Bussin’ with the Boys episode with Brian Urlacher was recorded in late June and released on June 29.
The New York Times published an article on July 5 that had an in-depth look at the death of Demaryius Thomas and its effect on his family. The former NFL wide receiver died suddenly in December at the age of 33 after suffering a seizure in his home. It was recently discovered that he had Stage 2 C.T.E. at the time of his passing.
Thomas exhibited “erratic behavior” in the final months of his life. He also dealt with headaches, memory loss, paranoia and isolated himself from others.
Those are common symptoms of C.T.E., but seizures – which Thomas also suffered from – are not. His seizures were brought on by a single-car crash in 2019. He lost control of his car while driving 70 miles per hour in a 30-mile-per-hour zone and flipped multiple times. Although he and his friend – who was in the passenger seat – survived, it was then that his seizures began.