Demaryius Thomas was diagnosed with Stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy after doctors at Boston University’s CTE Center studied his brain.
The former NFL star was found dead in his Roswell, Georgia home on December 9, 2021.
Although his cause of death has yet to be determined by the coroner’s office in Fulton County, Georgia, his family attributed his death to seizures he began suffering following a 2019 car crash.
In the year before he died, the former NFL star developed depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and memory issues.
Demaryius’ mother, Katrina Smith, said in the family’s statement:
Once I became aware of CTE and began to familiarize myself with the symptoms, I noticed that Demaryius was isolating himself and I saw other changes in him.
He was just so young, and it was horrible to see him struggle.
His father and I hope all families learn the risks of playing football.
We don’t want other parents to have to lose their children like we did.
See video of his family’s appearance on “Good Morning America” below.
Sadly, Demaryius Thomas was dealing with two issues – seizures and CTE.
Ann McKee, a neuropathologist and director of BU’s CTE Center, was part of the research team that studied Thomas’s brain.
McKee said seizures generally are not associated with early-stage CTE.
Like so many that have gone before, we found Stage 2 CTE in the brain of Demaryius Thomas.
The question I keep asking myself is, ‘When will enough be enough?’ When will athletes, parents and the public at large stop ignoring the risks of American football and insist that the game be changed to reduce subconcussive hits and that the athletes be comprehensively evaluated at the beginning and end of every season?
Dez Bryant took to social media to react to the report of Demaryius’ CTE diagnosis writing:
DT88 my heart weak bro… it’s a lot of us living with CTE and the NFL know it…most importantly the Athletes who have those symptoms are scared to speak…
1 thing about me ain’t living no false life…my love and support for athletes are on a much deeper level than most…
See his original post below.
Phillip Adams, the former NFL player who killed six people last year in Rock Hill, South Carolina, was later diagnosed with Stage 2 CTE.
Via The Washington Post:
Thomas played for three teams during his 10 seasons in the NFL, but he’s best known for his nine years with the Denver Broncos, who selected him out of Georgia Tech with the 22nd pick of the 2010 draft.
He won a Super Bowl with the Broncos and was later traded to the Houston Texans during the 2018 season.
After a brief stint with the New England Patriots in the following preseason, Thomas finished his career with the New York Jets and retired in 2021, six months before his death.
My sincerest condolences to the family, friends, former teammates, and fans of Demaryius Thomas.