Former Oakland Raiders George Atkinson, George Buehler and Art Thoms will donate their brains for CTE research as a tribute to the late Ken Stabler, they told the San Jose Mercury-News.
Stabler died last July due to colon cancer. After his death, doctors in Boston found Stabler suffered from Stage 3 CTE.
Atkinson, Buehler and Thoms will donate their brains to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, a group seeking to understand the causes of CTE. The degenerative brain disease has been found in numerous NFL players—many of whom committed suicide—and is associated with repeated hits to the head.
“When you see your teammate deteriorate a lot through the end of his life, to see him go out like that, it brings us together,” Thoms told the Mercury-News.
Atkinson told the paper he is suffering from memory problems.
“I can’t remember from yesterday to today half the time,” Atkinson said. “I’d get in the middle of a piece and forget where I was going.”
A report from The New York Times earlier this week revealed flaws in the NFL’s concussion research between 1996 and 2001.