TONY DORSETT SHOWING SIGNS OF CTE, SAYS HE’S DEALT WITH DEPRESSION & SUICIDAL THOUGHTS - Hall of Famer running back Tony Dorsett and several other former NFL players have recently been diagnosed with signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative condition that may be caused by head trauma and linked to depression and dementia, doctors have told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”
Researchers told “Outside the Lines” they notified Dorsett by phone Monday that they had diagnosed him as having signs of the neurological disease.
Wednesday on ESPN radio, Dorsett did confirm that his quality of life is deteriorating along with his memory.
When asked if he’s dealt with depression or suicidal thoughts, Dorsett admitted that he has.
“Sure. Sure,” he responded to co-hosts Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason.
“Well, you know, I’ve been diagnosed with all that,” Dorsett said. “That’s private stuff and I don’t want to get into all that stuff, but I’ve been diagnosed. I’m just telling you, I’ve been diagnosed with that, yes.”
Dorsett, who played the majority of his 12-year NFL career in Dallas, said he wants the NFL to “man up” and provide health insurance to his fellow retirees. He was one of the players involved in a concussion-related lawsuit that was settled earlier this year to the tune of $765 million.
“I’m one of those guys,” he told Boomer and Carton. “My quality of life is deteriorating every day.”
Dorsett said he blames himself for signing up to play football. But on the other side of the coin, he doesn’t think he should be on the hook for his own insurance or all of his medical bills.
“All I want to do is have health insurance for the rest of my life,” Dorsett said. “I signed up for this, obviously. My family is worried about me. I’m worried about me in some respects.”
Dorsett called his situation “really sad” and “frustrating.” The 59-year-old said he just found out during the call from UCLA that his memory loss was graded a three out of a possible four.
“My memory is really, really, really getting bad, and it’s going down,” Dorsett said. “I take my daughters to school, I take my daughters to practices, and all of a sudden the one day comes up and I’m saying ‘Well, how do I get there?’”
But Dorsett refuses to let his post-football problems keep him down.
“I feel I’m a strong man,” he said. “And you’ve got that right, too. Those beautiful daughters of mine keep me going strong.”
Dorsett played in the NFL from 1977-88. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994. (Photo: USA TODAY Sports)
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