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Friday, May 4, 2012
Reacting to medical examiner's ruling

By Bill Williamson

The San Diego County medical examiner's office has officially ruled that San Diego legendary linebacker Junior Seau committed suicide.

The office ruled that Seau died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest on Wednesday morning in his hometown of Oceanside, Calif. He was 43.

Now that Seau’s death has been officially ruled a suicide, I feel comfortable expressing a couple of thoughts.

I hope this terrible situation can help save other lives.

What struck me most Wednesday, as reaction to Seau’s death poured in, was the raw pain and love his family and friends had for Seau. Listening to interviews with his mother and former teammates Marcellus Wiley, Tedy Bruschi and Lorenzo Neal, it was clear that Seau would have been helped if only he had told his loved ones that he was hurting.

No one knew how bad he needed help. Folks, I’m not trying to get on a soapbox here, but if people need help, they just need to ask someone. If Seau could have seen the reaction to the death, I’d like to think there’s no way he would have killed himself.

The Seau family has decided to donate his brain for research studies on the effects of violent football hits. The brain of former NFL player Dave Duerson was donated for research, per Duerson’s request in a suicide note before he killed himself is a similar fashion as Seau.

I think any research to prevent further tragedies is worthwhile. But to automatically believe Seau and Duerson had the same issues may be taking the easy way out and it may be a coping mechanism.

No one knows what kind of pain Seau was enduring and to speculate may be a useless exercise. The question why Junior Seau took his own life will eternally be asked.