Junior Seau's suicide has sparked an incredible amount of debate about the mental health ramifications of being a long term football player. Gary Plummer, Seau's former teammate, had this to say on the matter:
They said a Grade 3 concussion meant you were knocked out, and a Grade 1 meant you were seeing stars after a hit, which made me burst out in laughter. As a middle linebacker in the NFL, if you don't have five of these [Grade 1 effects] each game, you were inactive the next game. Junior played for 20 years. That's five concussions a game, easily. How many in his career then? That's over 1,500 concussions. I know that's startling, but I know it's true. I had over 1,000 in my 15 years. I felt the effects of it. I felt depression going on throughout my divorce. Junior went through it with his divorce.
As noted the other day, Seau's family has agreed to allow his brain to be studied to a find link between repetitive brain injuries and depression.