A post-mortem examination of former Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher’s brain revealed he likely suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Belcher killed his girlfriend and committed suicide on December 1, 2012.
The examination was performed at the request of lawyers representing Zoey Belcher, the daughter of Belcher and his deceased girlfriend Kasandra Perkins. The finding will be invoked in ongoing litigation involving Belcher.
Belcher joins a very long list of former NFL players with CTE. The condition, which causes depression, aggression, confusion, and memory loss, is caused by repeated head traumas. Notable former NFL stars suspected of suffering from CTE include Tony Dorsett, Brett Favre, Bernie Kosar and Jamal Lewis. Former linebacker Junior Seau, who committed suicide in 2012, was known to have had the condition.
In 2013, the NFL reached a settlement with roughly 4,500 former NFL players over concussion-related injuries. Of that 4,500, it’s believed that hundreds, if not thousands, suffered from CTE.