Vincent Jackson’s brain to be donated to Boston University’s CTE Center

The former NFL player was said to have 'chronic alcoholism' and possibly CTE after being found dead in a Florida hotel room earlier this week

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Earlier this week 12-year NFL veteran Vincent Jackson was found dead in a hotel room. Now it’s being reported that his body will be donated to scientists researching CTE.

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Monday, Jackson, a popular wide receiver who played for the San Diego Chargers and then the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before his retirement in 2018, was found dead in a hotel room in Brandon, Florida. The 38-year-old reportedly suffered from alcoholism and the concussion-linked brain disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is commonly known as CTE.

Allison Gorrell, a spokesperson for the family, has confirmed to USA Today and The New York Times that his loved ones have decided to donate his brain to leading researchers at Boston University seeking to learn more about CTE and its effects.

SiriusXM at Super Bowl 50 Radio Row - Day 2
Vincent Jackson of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visits the SiriusXM set at Super Bowl 50 Radio Row at the Moscone Center on February 5, 2016. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

“Vincent being who he was would have wanted to help as many people as possible,” Gorrell explained to the Times. “It’s something his family wanted to do to get answers to some of their questions.”

Wednesday, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office released a statement to People confirming that while the investigation into Jackson’s death is still ongoing, his family shares the belief that he may have suffered from chronic alcoholism and CTE, which is caused by repeated concussions and trauma to the head.

Further substantiating this hypothesis is the fact CTE has been linked to numerous former NFL players following their deaths.

“It could be several weeks before we know what led to the untimely and tragic death of Vincent Jackson,” the department statement read. “The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office continues to conduct a thorough investigation alongside the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.”

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“Based on statements made by relatives of Jackson to detectives, his family had reason to believe he may have suffered from chronic alcoholism and concussions, however, the exact cause and manner of Mr. Jackson’s death will not be certain until his autopsy, among other reports, is complete.” 

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