Aaron Hernandez: Had Advanced CTE - NEP Sued

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
38,478
deep inside Guido territory
Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, who was engaged to former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, has filed a lawsuit against the Patriots and the NFL in the midst of Hernandez's diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

According to TMZ Sports, the suit was filed on behalf of the couple's daughter and states "Aaron had stage 3 CTE usually seen in players with a median age of death of 67 years," alleging that neither the league nor the team properly informed Hernandez as to the risks involved.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2734460-aaron-hernandezs-former-fiancee-files-suit-vs-nfl-patriots-amid-cte-claims
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
38,478
deep inside Guido territory
Why not sue the NCAA and Florida since he played more games at Florida than he did in the NFL? I've been telling people for years that it's not the NFL's fault w/r/t CTE. It's playing tackle football in Pop Warner through middle school. Taking that many hits to the head when the brain is still maturing does far worse damage. No kids should play tackle football until 7th or 8th grade at the earliest. I never played tackle until freshmen year.
 

Caspir

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
5,194
I guess the evil Patriots should have gone to an ancient mystic, traveled back in time and warned Hernandez about the perils of pop warner football, HS ball and NCAA football. Now it's too late.

Edit- Beaten
 

Spelunker

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
5,703
And high school, Pop Warner, pee wee, etc
Sure, but all that is true of any NFL player. Point really is you can barely be into an NFL career and be severely fucked up. Pre-NFL games being a big cause of CTE is probably an important tactical argument for this specific lawsuit, but I'd assume they'd be a lot more afraid of the larger existential threat to the NFL itself.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
38,478
deep inside Guido territory
Sure, but all that is true of any NFL player. Point really is you can barely be into an NFL career and be severely fucked up. Pre-NFL games being a big cause of CTE is probably an important tactical argument for this specific lawsuit, but I'd assume they'd be a lot more afraid of the larger existential threat to the NFL itself.
I see your point, but I'm not sure how the NFL should be blamed for this.
 

OurF'ingCity

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 22, 2016
3,080
New York City
From a legal perspective this suit stands zero chance because she would have to prove that the NFL's/Patriots' failure to warn Hernandez about CTE caused his suicide, which is a pretty hard case given that, you know, he had also just been sentenced to prison for the rest of his life. Also, she's suing for loss of consortium (basically, the fact that she and her daughter now won't get to spend time with Hernandez) which, again, is severely complicated by the fact that he was in jail for life (or at least a very good portion of it depending on parole, etc.). Unless she's saying that the CTE was the reason he murdered people too, which needless to say would be even harder to prove.

But from a PR perspective yeah I'm sure the NFL doesn't like this since as others have said it shows that even with relatively little time in the NFL you can have severe CTE (whether that is from the few NFL games or from a lifetime of playing football is probably moot to the NFL since either way it means fewer people will want to play football). I suppose she may have filed suit in the hope that the NFL will settle quickly and quietly in order to avoid scrutiny, but on the other hand a settlement might look even worse for the NFL as it could suggest they have sometime to hide/a weak case.
 

soxhop411

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2009
34,121
He only played in 44 career games and still had severe CTE. I wonder if the NFL is shitting itself right now.

And it’s only just the start. Wait until more “star” players are diagnosed with CTE at young age shortly after they retire. Or retire from the NFL because of fears of “CTE”
 

Spelunker

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
5,703
I see your point, but I'm not sure how the NFL should be blamed for this.
I agree wrt the lawsuit (although I assume they'd settle quickly to make it go away, unless they were worried about how *that* would look from a liability standpoint).

What they're likely really afraid of is not this lawsuit, but this data point against organized football. No one* is going to be playing in the NFLK without having played a lot of football before that. And indications that you can have 'severe' CTE when you've barely started your career (and that condition is tied to multiple homicides in the most lurid sports case since OJ**) that's the sort of thing that hastens how quickly the youth football pipe is drying up (and increases the public's queasiness with football in general, driving eyeballs away from the NFL). That's what I mean by existential threat.

(*not counting the obvious exceptions, like former wrestlers and ruby players, etc).
(**has anyone made the "did OJ have CTE" line of questioning yet? Seems like a take that be out there, but I've never seen it. yet.)
 

OurF'ingCity

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 22, 2016
3,080
New York City
Wait until more “star” players are diagnosed with CTE at young age shortly after they retire.
The problem is that researchers still haven't figured out a way to relatively accurately diagnose CTE in the living (but from all accounts they are getting pretty close). If anything could be the death blow to the NFL it could be that, because once such a test becomes available you would have to assume that virtually every current or prospective NFL player will get one, and if something like a third or more of the players are diagnosed with it (which wouldn't be that outlandish given the studies to date) you could see a mass exodus of players from the NFL and, perhaps, college football too.
 

maufman

Anderson Cooper x Mr. Rogers
Staff member
Dope
Gold Supporter
Why not sue the NCAA and Florida since he played more games at Florida than he did in the NFL? I've been telling people for years that it's not the NFL's fault w/r/t CTE. It's playing tackle football in Pop Warner through middle school. Taking that many hits to the head when the brain is still maturing does far worse damage. No kids should play tackle football until 7th or 8th grade at the earliest. I never played tackle until freshmen year.
If what you were saying is true, there would be legions of middle-aged men with CTE, and the incidence of the disease among ex-NFL players wouldn't stand out like a sore thumb relative to the broader male population.

Maybe youth football is dangerous too, but playing in the NFL is obviously dangerous in a way that youth football, high-school football, and even Division I college football are not.
 

Hoodie Sleeves

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 24, 2015
1,204
Sure, but all that is true of any NFL player. Point really is you can barely be into an NFL career and be severely fucked up. Pre-NFL games being a big cause of CTE is probably an important tactical argument for this specific lawsuit, but I'd assume they'd be a lot more afraid of the larger existential threat to the NFL itself.
You can not be into an NFL career and already be severely fucked up.

Its far more likely that the majority of Hernandez's brain damage occurred in highschool and college than it did in the NFL. The NFL is at least pretending to acknowledge there's a problem - many peewee/highschool/college coaches are still telling kids to "walk it off"
If what you were saying is true, there would be legions of middle-aged men with CTE, and the incidence of the disease among ex-NFL players wouldn't stand out like a sore thumb relative to the broader male population.
Who says there's not?

I'll dig deeper and find references, but I've seen several studies showing that people who played highschool football have a significantly higher rate of domestic violence, and general violent crime. There's obviously confounding factors, but some part of the fact that american men commit an absolute ton of violent crime (compared to other economically similar countries) may just be that american men are more likely to have significant brain damage.

We've always assumed that correlation exists because of the "locker room environment" being testosterone fueled, but maybe the locker-room environment is as bad as it is because of head injuries.
 
Last edited:

Spelunker

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
5,703
You can not be into an NFL career and already be severely fucked up.

Its far more likely that the majority of Hernandez's brain damage occurred in highschool and college than it did in the NFL. The NFL is at least pretending to acknowledge there's a problem - many peewee/highschool/college coaches are still telling kids to "walk it off"
I'm not talking about why Pop Warner or HS should be scared, I'm talking about why this scares the NFL, and it's not about this lawsuit. You're in violent agreement with my point.

Edit: actually, I can see the argument that it would be strategically better for the NFL if they could argue that *all* the damage happened during his pro career. Lose the lawsuit, help prolong their existence.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
38,478
deep inside Guido territory
If what you were saying is true, there would be legions of middle-aged men with CTE, and the incidence of the disease among ex-NFL players wouldn't stand out like a sore thumb relative to the broader male population.

Maybe youth football is dangerous too, but playing in the NFL is obviously dangerous in a way that youth football, high-school football, and even Division I college football are not.
All forms of football are inherently dangerous. My point is that the CTE isn't all the sudden something that starts in the NFL. Playing in the NFL likely puts the finishing touches on having a severe case of it.
 

strek1

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 13, 2006
22,253
Hartford area
The filing of this suit shouldn't surprise anyone. Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez earning power is pretty low on her own. Might as well throw the Legal "Hail Mary" and see if it gets anywhere.
 

Hoodie Sleeves

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 24, 2015
1,204
I'm not talking about why Pop Warner or HS should be scared, I'm talking about why this scares the NFL, and it's not about this lawsuit. You're in violent agreement with my point.

Edit: actually, I can see the argument that it would be strategically better for the NFL if they could argue that *all* the damage happened during his pro career. Lose the lawsuit, help prolong their existence.
We're in agreement on what this really means. I just don't have as high of an opinion in regards to your average American connecting the dots.

Football is a big friggin deal, with huge emotional attachments, and this country spends a lot of time and money actively unbelieving heavily evidenced science when it gets close to their emotional centers (see evolution, climate change, etc)
 

garzooma

lurker
Mar 4, 2011
126
The problem is that researchers still haven't figured out a way to relatively accurately diagnose CTE in the living (but from all accounts they are getting pretty close). ...
Just saw this in today's Atlantic:
The Future of Detecting Brain Damage in Football
A new technique could revolutionize how a neurodegenerative disease afflicting contact sports is treated.
[...]
 

jcd0805

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 3, 2007
1,467
Florida
If what you were saying is true, there would be legions of middle-aged men with CTE, and the incidence of the disease among ex-NFL players wouldn't stand out like a sore thumb relative to the broader male population.

Maybe youth football is dangerous too, but playing in the NFL is obviously dangerous in a way that youth football, high-school football, and even Division I college football are not.
Maybe the explanation is plenty of people are not affected one bit by the CTE they have therefore their brains aren't being examined after death? Maybe CTE isn't the reason players commit suicide? I mean is that even a possibility?
 

Seven Costanza

Fred Astaire of SoSH
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2007
2,741
Is there any way this doesn’t end horribly for the NFL (and football in general)? Either this moves forward and the NFL subjects itself to discovery, or they pay a murderer’s daughter several million dollars to settle (thus avoiding discovery).
 

Bergs

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2005
12,934
Is there any way this doesn’t end horribly for the NFL (and football in general)? Either this moves forward and the NFL subjects itself to discovery, or they pay a murderer’s daughter several million dollars to settle (thus avoiding discovery).
Does that go against the cap?

(ducks)
 

Ralphwiggum

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 27, 2012
5,071
Needham, MA
Is there any way this doesn’t end horribly for the NFL (and football in general)? Either this moves forward and the NFL subjects itself to discovery, or they pay a murderer’s daughter several million dollars to settle (thus avoiding discovery).
I get what you are saying, but that's a very shitty way of describing an innocent victim in this whole ugly mess. I actually don't think the Pats are going to pay a multi-million dollar settlement here, but if they did and it was put in a trust for the benefit of his daughter I wouldn't cry for the Patriots, and since she's too young to even know what is going on here, I wouldn't feel bad about whatever portion of the money was actually used to better her life.
 

Bergs

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2005
12,934
Just saw this in today's Atlantic:
The Future of Detecting Brain Damage in Football
A new technique could revolutionize how a neurodegenerative disease afflicting contact sports is treated.
[...]
When (not if) in vivo detection is readily available, it's my guess that NCAA and NFL football will be dead, and dead with a quickness.
 

Seven Costanza

Fred Astaire of SoSH
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2007
2,741
I get what you are saying, but that's a very shitty way of describing an innocent victim in this whole ugly mess. I actually don't think the Pats are going to pay a multi-million dollar settlement here, but if they did and it was put in a trust for the benefit of his daughter I wouldn't cry for the Patriots, and since she's too young to even know what is going on here, I wouldn't feel bad about whatever portion of the money was actually used to better her life.
You’re absolutely right- that is a shitty way to refer to her. My bad- I was just trying to get across how I think it will be perceived in the court of public opinion. IMO his daughter is just as much of a victim here as Odin Lloyd et al.
 
Last edited:

Hoodie Sleeves

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 24, 2015
1,204
When (not if) in vivo detection is readily available, it's my guess that NCAA and NFL football will be dead, and dead with a quickness.
In New England, sure.

In Texas, where football is central to culture and identity? I'm skeptical it's going to take less than a generation.
 

ifmanis5

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 29, 2007
34,332
Rotten Apple
I'm guessing the new CBA will have a "you can't sue us for CTE" clause in it from the NFL.
I'm surprised it wasn't in there already. You're right, though, there will be something in the future; possibly a medical waiver that basically says 'I know what I'm getting into' kind of language.
 

Average Reds

Dope
Staff member
Dope
V&N Mod
SoSH Member
Sep 24, 2007
24,891
Southwestern CT
Is there any way this doesn’t end horribly for the NFL (and football in general)? Either this moves forward and the NFL subjects itself to discovery, or they pay a murderer’s daughter several million dollars to settle (thus avoiding discovery).
Those are not the only two alternatives. And I think it's likely that the case is dismissed prior to any discovery because it simply has no merit.
 

NortheasternPJ

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 16, 2004
13,030
I'm surprised it wasn't in there already. You're right, though, there will be something in the future; possibly a medical waiver that basically says 'I know what I'm getting into' kind of language.
If MMA and Boxing are allowed, the NFL will still exist as well.

I find it shocking that Aaron Hernandez had a level of CTE they've never seen in a 27 year old NFL player before. The sample size of dead 27 year old NFL players that have had a CTE test i'm sure is statically significant. He has CTE of someone who they'd expect to live until 67.

I'm not downplaying that he may or may not have a had severe CTE, but the argument of they've never seen this before in someone is a garbage argument, even if factually true since he's in a sample size of about 1-5.
 

maufman

Anderson Cooper x Mr. Rogers
Staff member
Dope
Gold Supporter
There's no quote from the researcher. The article reports that a BU researcher told them that AH had stage 3 CTE, and states that that "can cause violent mood swings, depression, and other cognitive disorders." It's unclear whether the other couple of scientific statements in the article are drawn from court filings or from the author's own research; I assume it didn't come from the BU researcher, because the context suggests otherwise, plus I have to believe the author would credit her if that were the case.

The bulk of the article is just quotes and paraphrases from (I presume) an interview with José Baez and from documents he filed in court, with a cursory statement thrown in at the end about how an NFL spokesman said he hadn't seen the lawsuit and the Patriots didn't "immediately respond" to a request for comment. In sum, the article is hot-take bullshit.

The nightclub incident might be another story, but there's no reason whatsoever to think that CTE led AH to commit the premeditated murder of Odin Lloyd. The NFL will win on the merits if they choose to fight this; the only question is whether they'd prefer to settle to avoid going through discovery with a media whore like Baez (assuming the case survives a motion to dismiss, which I suspect it will).
 

AMS25

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 29, 2008
1,662
Holland on the Plains
It's in the New York Times:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/21/sports/aaron-hernandez-cte-brain.html?hpw&rref=sports&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well

"Hernandez’s brain was examined by Dr. Ann McKee, chief of neuropathology at the VA Boston Healthcare System and director of the CTE Center at Boston University. She developed categories to describe the severity of the disease. Those with Stage 3 of C.T.E. typically had cognitive impairment and trouble with executive functions like planning and organizing. Those with Stage 4, the most severe version of the disease, had dementia, difficulty finding words and aggression.

McKee said in a statement that Hernandez had Stage 3, and that he had 'early brain atrophy.'"
 

Ed Hillel

Wants to be startin somethin
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2007
21,522
Here
I'm pretty ignorant about how CTE can come about, so forgive me, but is it only caused by physical trauma? Or can repeated drug use of certain narcotics play a role? Hernandez wasn't exactly clean, though I must admit I have no idea how angel dust or other drugs he might have taken are ingested/impact the brain long-term.
 

DrewDawg

Dorito Dink
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
34,933
There's no quote from the researcher. The article reports that a BU researcher told them that AH had stage 3 CTE,.
Yes. And the poster I responded to asked if there was anything besides TMZ, so I posted an AP article. Excuse my saying "quote" when it wasn't a direct quote but I think the general point holds that a BU researcher said he had CTE
 

maufman

Anderson Cooper x Mr. Rogers
Staff member
Dope
Gold Supporter
Yes. And the poster I responded to asked if there was anything besides TMZ, so I posted an AP article. Excuse my saying "quote" when it wasn't a direct quote but I think the general point holds that a BU researcher said he had CTE
No doubt. I didn't mean to criticize you, but to point out the poor quality of the coverage generally.

I mean, even if the author isn't going to take the time to plumb the allegations by talking to people who knew AH (to see if his behavior changed over time, etc.), one would certainly expect him to possess enough critical thinking skills to deduce that the symptoms of stage 3 CTE don't remotely line up with the conduct that earned AH a life sentence. The article reads like a screed written by a PR firm in Baez's employ. That's not Baez's fault; he's not the one with a professional duty to report facts in an objective manner.
 

Rough Carrigan

reasons within Reason
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
All forms of football are inherently dangerous. My point is that the CTE isn't all the sudden something that starts in the NFL. Playing in the NFL likely puts the finishing touches on having a severe case of it.
Is it possible that there's a threshold of force to a collision for creating damage that is significant and lasting? Maybe collisions with the extreme force (250 lb linebacker sprinting at 4.7 sec/40 yard speed) that one only sees in the NFL or big time college create traumatic impact of the brain within the skull that lesser collisions simply don't. In this way, the NFL isn't the finishing touches but much worse. Pee wee football might be like a New Year's Eve drinking binge but NFL football is like Dylan Thomas sitting down at the bar intending to end it.
 

BigMike

Dope
Dope
Sep 26, 2000
21,455
Maybe the families of all the people he murdered can get together and file a class action suit against the NFL and Florida. Maybe they can blame all the murders on the cte.

I feel sorry for the little girl, but
"Being denied the companionship."

Of her psychotic mass murderer father is probably the biggest break that small child will get
 
Last edited:

Hoodie Sleeves

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 24, 2015
1,204
Is it possible that there's a threshold of force to a collision for creating damage that is significant and lasting? Maybe collisions with the extreme force (250 lb linebacker sprinting at 4.7 sec/40 yard speed) that one only sees in the NFL or big time college create traumatic impact of the brain within the skull that lesser collisions simply don't. In this way, the NFL isn't the finishing touches but much worse. Pee wee football might be like a New Year's Eve drinking binge but NFL football is like Dylan Thomas sitting down at the bar intending to end it.
Its possible, but most of the evidence points to subconcussive impacts being perfectly capable of causing severe CTE, and it largely being additive.
https://concussionfoundation.org/CTE-resources/subconcussive-impacts
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995699/
etc.
 

crystalline

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 12, 2009
5,678
JP
(emphasis mine)Why not sue the NCAA and Florida since he played more games at Florida than he did in the NFL? I've been telling people for years that it's not the NFL's fault w/r/t CTE. It's playing tackle football in Pop Warner through middle school. Taking that many hits to the head when the brain is still maturing does far worse damage.
How do you know that?
 

crystalline

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 12, 2009
5,678
JP
There's no quote from the researcher. The article reports that a BU researcher told them that AH had stage 3 CTE, and states that that "can cause violent mood swings, depression, and other cognitive disorders." It's unclear whether the other couple of scientific statements in the article are drawn from court filings or from the author's own research; I assume it didn't come from the BU researcher, because the context suggests otherwise, plus I have to believe the author would credit her if that were the case.
NYT article has slides of Hernandez's brain provided by BU. But no direct quotes from McKee beyond "stage 3" and "early brain atrophy".

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/21/sports/aaron-hernandez-cte-brain.html
 

nighthob

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
7,708
"Hernandez’s brain was examined by Dr. Ann McKee, chief of neuropathology at the VA Boston Healthcare System and director of the CTE Center at Boston University. She developed categories to describe the severity of the disease. Those with Stage 3 of C.T.E. typically had cognitive impairment and trouble with executive functions like planning and organizing.
Well that would explain the Odin Lloyd case.
 

strek1

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 13, 2006
22,253
Hartford area
Mike Webster's Estate won their lawsuit but Webster played 245 NFL games and died at 50 after lots of symptoms. Also Webster retired and wasn't fired because he murdered somebody. Many differences but what the hell, the Hernandez family might as well give it a shot in court.
 

MuzzyField

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
FYI, Hernandez may have been involved in a few non-football related head trauma situations outside of football as a junior gang banger/thug in Bristol and beyond.

To quick reply to strek1, the NFL, in the case of Webster seemed more concerned with the impact of PED use and not really focused on what playing football could do to a player, at least from a legal standpoint. The NFL may have known back then bashing heads was not good, and probably in a big tobacco way did, but the focus on Webster (4-tiime SB Champ, HOF, NFL Films icon) didn't seem to be concussion-based. It was more in the Lyle Alzado tone.

Hernandez was a POS before he turned 14... he should have been in jail in CT while a HS student and in FL during his time in Gainesville.

Webster may have had a similar suicidal outcome, but he wasn't a POS.

I hope Park Avenue unloads it's version of Operation Thunder on Jose Baez. Thankfully, given what the future looks like, I don't think the NFL can settle this.
 

soxfan121

JAG
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
23,043
I hope Park Avenue unloads it's version of Operation Thunder on Jose Baez. Thankfully, given what the future looks like, I don't think the NFL can settle this.
Wait. You're rooting for the mega billionaires, who've demonstrably lied for decades to their employees to keep them ignorant on the effects of playing football, and for their loathsome lackey Roger to "unload" on a scumbag defense lawyer representing a gold digger and a six-year old?

I think your sense of right, wrong, and villainy is busted.

If Jose Baez completes a hail mary and somehow gets a judgement against the NFL (and NCAA?) for endangering player safety by knowingly lying to their employees then shit... I will bow down and literally sing the praises of a scummy defense lawyer. Compared to the people he's suing, Jose Baez is not half bad.

Meanwhile, not enough bad things can happen to "Park Avenue" and the owners who did exactly what this suit alleges. Do you remember Kevin Turner? Before he died, he and his family and lots of ex-players sued the NFL and were strong-armed into a settlement in order to pay their medical bills. Baez is a grandstanding asshole, but that is no reason to be rooting for the much bigger assholes and their precious shield.