Last December Chris Henry was involved in an altercation that ended with his death. During this dispute he jumped from the back of a moving pickup truck that was being driven by his girlfriend.
However, doctors now believe that brain damage may have actually been the cause of the star football player’s demise.
It was no secret that Henry had some behavior issues in the years close to his death and it continued until shortly before his death. Some experts believe that these behavior issues were partly due to his brain damage and could have lead to further issues as they were being left untreated.
In the years before his death Henry had been arrested five times in two years for several incidents involving assault, drinking and driving as well as possession of marijuana. The link between the brain injury that was sustained and his criminal behavior is not necessarily true but doctors believe it could have been the root cause of his issues.
This comes down to the long held belief that football is dangerous as it is played and as such there needs to be better protection in place for the players. Henry stands as the first player to die while active and be diagnosed, postmortem, with a chronic brain injury.
In the past it was believed that long time play and the abuse that a player suffers at the hand of the rough tackles was to blame for the injuries. However, Chris Henry seems to be the exception to this rule.
He was young, 26 and had played only a short time in the NFL. During that time there are no reports that have surfaced that point to concussions being suffered by Henry but further investigation has been called for.
Photo courtesy Daniela Hartmann