Former Miami Dolphins receiver Mark Duper is the latest NFL great to reveal he’s suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative brain disease that has been linked to concussions and the suicides of former football players.
"I’ve had memory things where I would go to the store and forget what I went for. And I have emotional swings and panic attacks."
Duper was one of four former players tested at UCLA in the past three months. Tony Dorsett confirmed he has CTE earlier this week on OTL, as did fellow Hall of Famer Joe DeLamielleure and former All-Pro Leonard Marshall.
UCLA announced five other former players tested positive in January. Prior to that, testing had been done only on players after they died, including Junior Seau and Mike Webster.
Dorsett called in to ESPN’s "Dan LeBatard Is Highly Questionable" show this week and talked about what he’s going through, saying "My quality of living has changed drastically and it deteriorates every day."
"I’ve thought about crazy stuff, sort of like, ‘Why do I need to continue going through this?’" he said. "I’m too smart of a person, I like to think, to take my life, but it’s crossed my mind."
Duper, 54, echoed Dorsett’s statement.
"Once upon a time, everybody has thought about suicide, but I am not going to do it," Duper said.
"It’s not a death diagnosis," he added. "Now I know; the next step is to see what can be done."
Duper had four 1,000-yard seasons in 11 years with Miami and was inducted into the Dolphins’ honor roll.
"This test will show the damage we are doing to our bodies and how to prevent it," he said. "People have to speak up about CTE. I hope me speaking out will show that people should be tested."