Grim Anniversary Of Chris Benoit Tragedy Relevant For MMA Fans

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

It's been five years since WWE star Chris Benoit was found dead along with his wife and young son in an apparent murder-suicide. At the time most reports seemed to blame Benoit's use of steroids for his explosion but later evidence seemed to indicate that his descent into depression, madness and ultimately murder was perhaps driven by injuries to his brain suffered in the ring.

Geno Mrosko has more at Cageside Seats:

It is unknown what caused this horrific tragedy. Many were quick to blame steroid use while others blamed a long history of abusing his body while working in pro wrestling. Repeated concussions that went untreated or were treated improperly led to significant damage to Benoit's brain, which was later tested and found to be similar to that of an 85-year-old Alzheimer's patient. He also suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The doctor who examined his brain theorized that repeated concussions could lead to dementia, which could have explaind his behavior.

Since Benoit's death, head-injury-related suicides have felled a number of NFL veterans, many of whom autopsies showed to have suffered significant brain damage as a result of head-trauma suffered on the gridiron. Andre Waters actually killed himself a year prior to Benoit's death but Dave Duerson, Junior Seau and others have since joined the grim parade.

I'm bringing this up as a reminder to fans, fighters and athletic commissions that we still don't know how much the head trama endured during a professional MMA career will impact the fighters we root for. Let's remember those who suffered grievous injury while competing and entertaining for us and work to protect the athletes and entertainers of today.


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