It was revealed Wednesday that late NFL quarterback Ken Stabler was diagnosed with the dreaded chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) degenerative brain disease, which seems to be plaguing a growing number of football players.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, who was known for delivering hard hits over the course of his 15-year NFL career from 1981 through 1995, said the possibility of other former league players having CTE is real and it's better to face that reality head-on.
"Everyone should think they have it and then work to slow it down by working to have a better life," Lott, 56, told the San Jose Mercury News. "As far as symptoms, I don't have anything."
That being said, Lott discussed the possibility of him having the brain disease during a symposium around the Will Smith-starring movie Concussion at Santa Clara University last week.
"Clearly there are a number of people in this room that might have CTE, including me," Lott said of the brain disease, which could only be diagnosed posthumously, as reported by the San Jose Mercury News. "But if you know me, I refuse to accept that, because I believe in all of us, we have the capacity to do whatever we want, despite having concussions. God knows it."
Just a few days away from Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, Lott hopes football players have more information about how to successfully defeat CTE 10 years from now.
"We were able to discover this disease, now we have to combat it," he added. "To me, that's the next step and the next evolution of football. Hopefully in Super Bowl 60, we're talking about the things that people are doing [to combat the symptoms of CTE] and hopefully at that point it will allow us to be even better athletes and better human beings."
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(Photo: Steve Jennings/Getty Images for The Painted Turtle)
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