Latest Suicide Keeps Football Under Scrutiny

O.J. Murdock

Latest Suicide Keeps Football Under Scrutiny

The National Football League launches crisis hotline for current and former players following suicide of O.J. Murdock on Monday.

Published August 2, 2012

(The Root) -- We don't know why O.J. Murdock took his life Monday. We don't know the problems he faced and considered unmanageable. We don't know the emotions he felt and considered unbearable.

But we do know that Murdock, 25, was an NFL player. And that alone is reason for concern, considering the recent string of suicides among former NFL players, combined with the slew of concussion-related lawsuits filed against the league.

Unlike former star linebacker Junior Seau, who committed suicide with a gunshot to his chest in May, and former star defensive back Dave Duerson, who took his life in similar fashion in February last year, Murdock didn't appear interested in leaving his brain to science. He shot himself in the head.

He also didn't have a long NFL career behind him, preparing for just his second year with the Tennessee Titans after missing his entire rookie season with an injury. That's another factor that separates him from Seau, Duerson and Ray Easterling, a former defensive back who committed suicide at the age of 62 in April.

Spurred by the suicides, concussion lawsuits, negative publicity and genuine concern, the NFL last week launched a hotline to help current and former players. The NFL Life Line offers around-the-clock crisis support from independent health professionals in conjunction with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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(Photo:  NFL via Getty Images) �

Written by Deron Snyder,


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