This just in
Jovan Belcher, the former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker who killed his girlfriend and himself in 2012, had signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. A doctor who performed a post-mortem on Belcher at the behest of Belcher's family found in his brain a buildup of tau protein, which is associated with the disease, according to ESPN's Outside the Lines.
Neuroscientists believe repeated head trauma dramatically increases the risk of CTE, a disease that can lead to depression, memory loss, and aggressive behavior. A damning Frontline report last year documented the prevalence of CTE in NFL players and the league's decades-long denial about the dangers of head trauma.
In December 2012, Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins. He then drove to the Chiefs' practice facility and, in front of team officials, shot himself in the parking lot.