Three months after his death, reports are surfacing regarding Frank Gifford’s illness. The former NFL Hall of Famer, New York Giants star and husband of famous TV show anchor Kathie Lee Gifford, died due to natural causes in August.
Now, Gifford’s family has released a statement revealing that he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) on the basis of an autopsy report. This is a brain disease often associated with concussions.
“We as a family made the difficult decision to have [Gifford’s] brain studied in hopes of contributing to the advancement of medical research concerning the link between football and traumatic brain injury,” Gifford’s family said in the statement confirming the cause of the death.
“Our suspicions that he was suffering from the debilitating effects of head trauma were confirmed when a team of pathologists recently diagnosed his condition as that of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)—a progressive degenerative brain disease,” they also added.
One of the most famous snapshots of the sport shows Gifford on the ground after being hit on the head by Philadelphia’s Chuck Bednarik. He was ruled out for the entire 1961 season after suffering concussions. Many former NFL professionals suffered from brain degenerative disease, which could only be diagnosed after death. Following his death, Gifford’s family decided to get his brain assessed by medics.
The effects of head injuries suffered by players are on the radar as of late. Several former players died after sustaining head injuries. Recently, NFL legend Tony Dorsett announced that he has been diagnosed with CTE.