Junior Seau's Family Reportedly Not Sure About Donating Brain for Research

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IMay 5, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 18:  Junior Seau #55 of the New England Patriots looks on from the bench in the second half against the Tennessee Titans on October 18, 2009 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

After initially issuing a statement saying researchers would be allowed to study Junior Seau's brain, the Seau family is having second thoughts.

Shawn Mitchell, the family's pastor, had this to say to Reuters, reported by Corrie MacLaggan, about the wishes of the family regarding the decision to allow Junior's brain to be researched:

They have now stepped back from what they were thinking initially. Nothing is definite right now.

Mitchell was careful to add that this does not mean the family has ruled out the possibility, rather that they simply did not want to rush into a decision and that everything was being "revisited." 

This decision is drawing a lot of interest, as we are in an era of heightened awareness of the effects on the brain caused by concussions. 

Among other things, over 1,500 former NFL players have sued the league over head injuries, as they claim the league concealed links between football and brain injuries. 

Seau played in the NFL for 20 season with the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots. He is one of the game's greatest linebackers.

He is also one of the most well-known players of his generation. Besides his dominant play on the field, he has always been an outgoing and highly visible presence off the field.

In the wake of his death, the spotlight on head trauma surrounding football players has grown even brighter. 

Seau was found unconscious in his Oceanside, CA home with a gunshot wound to his chest. The San Diego County medical examiner's office ruled the death a suicide on Wednesday. He was 43 years old.