CTE is a concussion-related brain disease that is starting to be found in a lot of NFL players. Gifford, who died on August 9th, was 84-years-old.
“After losing our beloved husband and father, Frank Gifford, we as a family made the difficult decision to have his brain studied in hopes of contributing to the advancement of medical research concerning the link between football and traumatic brain injury,” the family’s statement said.
“We decided to disclose our loved one’s condition to honor Frank’s legacy of promoting player safety dating back to his involvement in the formation of the NFL Players Association in the 1950’s. His entire adult life, Frank was a champion for others, but especially for those without the means or platform to have their voices heard. He was a man who loved the National Football League until the day he passed, and one who recognized that it was – and will continue to be – the players who elevated this sport to its singular stature in American society.”
Gifford is now the latest player to have suffered from this disease post-mortem. There’s a lot of deceased players and living players, who are also suspected of having CTE.
This Christmas, there’s going to be a movie on concussions. Dr. Bennett Omalu is the first individual to find CTE in a former NFL player when he examined the brain of former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster.
“During the last years of his life, Frank dedicated himself to understanding the recent revelations concerning the connection between repetitive head trauma and its associated cognitive and behavioral symptoms — which he experienced firsthand,” the statement continued. “We miss him every day, now more than ever, but find comfort in knowing that by disclosing his condition we might contribute positively to the ongoing conversation that needs to he had; that he might be an inspiration for others suffering with this disease that needs to be addressed in the present; and that we might be a small part of the solution to an urgent problem concerning anyone involved with football at any level.
Gifford was a CBS Sports broadcaster after his playing career with the New York Giants. He helped the Giants to their 1956 NFL Championship. His Giants team won five NFL Championships in the 1950s and 60s.
He was named the winner of the Pete Roselle Radio-Television Award by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995 for his television work on the NFL.