Former NFL star Vincent Jackson’s brain will reportedly be donated to scientists researching Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain injury commonly known as CTE.
Allison Gorrell, a family spokesperson, confirmed to USA Today and The New York Times that Jackson’s family is donating his brain to leading researchers at Boston University, studying CTE’s effects on the brain after athletes retire from the NFL. Jackson, 38, a former NFL wide receiver, was reportedly found dead on Monday (February 15) in a Florida hotel room. The cause of death is under investigation by the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office.
“Vincent being who he was would have wanted to help as many people as possible,” Gorrell told the Times. “It’s something his family wanted to do to get answers to some of their questions.”
CTE has been found in the brains of a number of former NFL players after their deaths. It’s caused by repeated concussions and trauma to the head often received while playing football.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Jackson’s body was discovered at approximately 11:30 a.m. EST at the Homewood Suites in Brandon, Florida, according to ESPN. Investigators claim there were no apparent signs of trauma.
ESPN reports that hotel staff Jackson had been staying there since checking into a room on January 11.
Jackson’s family reported him missing on Wednesday (February 10) and a formal report was filed the following day. Police, however, located Jackson two days later on Friday at the hotel and the missing persons case was cancelled.
Jackson was drafted by the San Diego Charges in 2005 and played his final five seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is ranked fourth in franchise history with 4,326 receiving yards and 10th in receptions with 268.