Demaryius Thomas Had CTE When He Died

'Educate yourself on this,' says his mom
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2022 12:58 AM CDT
Demaryius Thomas Had CTE When He Died
Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) catches a pass before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Denver, Sept. 9, 2018.   (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)

Demaryius Thomas died in December at age 33, just a few months after retiring from the NFL. On Tuesday, his family announced the four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver and former Denver Bronco had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease linked to repeated blows to the head. Like many other football players, Thomas was posthumously diagnosed with CTE; doctors from Boston University said Tuesday that his case was stage 2. He had also been suffering from seizures ever since a 2019 car crash; he had fallen down steps and even crashed other cars due to the seizures. No cause of death has yet been determined for Thomas, but the Boston doctors said he likely suffocated after suffering a seizure, the New York Times reports.

Thomas' mother, Katina Smith, says of her son's career, "This is a once-in-a-lifetime dream come true." But she adds a warning to other parents: "Now I’m more adamant about like, hey, educate yourself on this" before allowing kids to get involved in the sport. NFL wide receiver Dez Bryant tweeted Tuesday in response to the report, "It’s a lot of us living with CTE and the NFL know it…most importantly the Athletes who have those symptoms are scared to speak." The disease, however, can only be formally diagnosed after death, the Hill reports. (Read more CTE stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.