Former NFL quarterback Matt Hasselbeck announced on Wednesday that he would be donating his brain to CTE research, specifically to the Concussion Legacy Foundation in Massachusetts, once he is done using it of course.
"During my football career, we didn't have enough information on the long-term effects of concussions and brain trauma," Hasselbeck said on Wednesday. "I want to be part of the solution, and by pledging my brain I am doing my part to provide the data to protect the next generation of athletes."
Hasselbeck’s only documented concussion in the NFL came with the Seahawks in 2010 in a game against the Raiders, a 33-3 loss in which he went 13-of-32 for 163 yards and an interception. He missed the following week’s game, a 41-7 loss to the Giants, and returned to lead Seattle to a 2-5 record over their final seven games; little did we know that it was all a setup for one of the greatest upsets in Seahawks history in the wild card round versus the Saints.
He joins his father Don, an NFL tight end from 1977-1985, who had previously donated his brain to CTE research, along with many others including former Giants defensive end Leonard Marshall who also made the announcement on Wednesday.
Former Niners lineman Randy Cross put it like this in a piece for The Players’ Tribune:
I agree with the former commissioner that we need better data. I think it is the responsibility of every person who cares about the game of football to welcome as much research as possible to be done to ensure that future generations are fully aware of all the risks associated with this game.
It’s simply the right thing to do.
Hasselbeck went 69-62 in his career with the Seattle Seahawks. From 2003-2007, the best stretch of his career, Hasselbeck ranked fourth in touchdown passes behind only Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Brett Favre, ninth in passer rating, and went to three Pro Bowls.