Paul Oliver commits suicide; no one saw it coming
Paul Oliver's suicide news has struck like thunder among professional NFL players and fans around the globe. The defensive back who formerly played with the San Diego Chargers passed away Tuesday night after shooting himself. Dismayed coaches and ex-teammates still ask themselves what could have gone wrong with a guy that never showed the minimum signs of depression or trouble.
Former Chargers teammate Quentin Jammer was one to express his emotions over such tragic news. "He was a good friend of mine. Great guy. Great guy," Jammer said in an interview. "I mean, the early reports were that he committed suicide, and he just didn't seem like that type of guy. You never know what somebody is going through, what's going on in somebody's life. I hadn't talked to him in a while. I wish now I could reach out to him. If I'd have known."
At about 6.45 p.m Oliver turned a handgun on himself and pulled the trigger. When he was found by the police Tuesday night and there was nothing anyone, or any emergency medical supply equipment could do to save him.
Paul Oliver's suicide takes us back to May 2012 when Junior Seau who was an NFL linebacker, took his own life. According to medical examiners, tests results showed that he suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which is a due to multiple brain traumas happening over a period of time.
Another similar case was that of the Atlanta Falcons Safety, Ray Easterling, who committed suicide and was also positive for CTE in his autopsy. Almost a year before, in February 2011, NFL player Dave Duerson also committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest. Researchers found traces of CTE as well.
The case of Paul Oliver's suicide is not only a reminder of these past cases, but also raises suspicion that the player was also suffering from CTE. Results from the autopsy have not yet been released to confirm this speculation.
Concussions in the NFL have always been a major topic of concern. Collected data shows there is a pattern among retired National Football League players who have suffered from concussions in while they were active players. A high number of these men have had problems with memory loss, dementia, depression, CTE and even Alzheimer disease.
Paul Oliver's suicide stirs things up again and leave many wondering exactly how safe is the most popular sport in the USA, and if indeed everything possible is being done to ensure the health of its players.