NFL players with CTE

Former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler, the late NFL and Super Bowl MVP and a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, had the brain disease CTE, Boston University researchers said February 3, 2016.

Stabler, who died of colon cancer at age 69 in July 2015, had Stage 3 chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Dr. Ann McKee told The Associated Press. The former football star told his family he wanted his brain studied after learning that former NFL linebacker Junior Seau was diagnosed with the disease. Seau shot himself in the chest and died at age 43. The disease can only be diagnosed after death.

“What is interesting about Ken Stabler is that he anticipated his diagnosis years in advance,” Chris Nowinski, the founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, told the AP. “And even though he’s a football icon he began actively distancing himself from game in his final years, expressing hope that his grandsons would choose not to play.”