BOSTON (CBS) – What a sorry turn of events to learn that Aaron Hernandez, the late Patriots star, suffered from a bad case of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE, a degenerative condition linked with repeated head trauma.
Lawyers for Hernandez disclosed the findings Thursday along with a federal lawsuit against the NFL and the Patriots on behalf of the athlete’s daughter. They will now try to prove that Hernandez was afflicted during his pro career due to negligence by the league.
That won’t be easy.
Did the damage to Hernandez’s brain occur when he played for the Patriots or during his high school and college career?
And while we know victims of CTE are at higher risk of depression and behavioral problems, can they draw a direct line between his time on the field in the NFL and his eventual jailhouse suicide?
But there’s one thing I don’t think they’ll ever be able to explain away – why Hernandez carefully plotted and executed the brutal murder of his alleged friend, Odin Lloyd.
The Boston University team that examined Hernandez’s brain noted that their CTE research shows links with “aggressiveness, explosiveness and impulsivity.”
But there was nothing impulsive or spontaneous about the murder of Lloyd, a calculated crime from beginning to end.
We can expect to hear much more about Aaron Hernandez the victim, and the facts should guide the verdict. But we already know of at least one case where Hernandez was the victimizer.
Let’s not forget about that.