On Tuesday, Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp announced that he would donate his brain to science after his death, making him just the most recent NFL player to make the somewhat morbid offer. Sapp's announcement came via a YouTube video posted by the Players' Tribune:
Sapp claims that he made the decision to give away his brain after he received an email from ex-NFL running back Fred Willis. The DT states that Willis's email "had quotes from NFL owners—I mean down the line you could see it: There's no correlation between football, CTE, suicides, and all this foolish stuff. (...) I mean, where are you getting this information from and then spewing it out as if it's fact?"
Sapp also went on to say that his 13 seasons in the league contributed to a worsening memory, as transcribed by ESPN:
"We're playing in a macho league and we're talking about Hall of Famers now who are immortalized forever, made busts and everything. There's no way any of us wanna really admit that we can't remember how to get home or a grocery list that the wife has given us or how to go pick up our kids to the school, or whatever it may be.
"You try to [say], 'All right, I'm gonna get a little more sleep—maybe it's something I did last night, maybe something I drank,' or whatever it is. You try to find a reason that it's not that it's my brain, that I'm not deteriorating right before my own eyes.
"It's the most frightening feeling, but it's also a very weakening feeling because you feel like a child. I need help. I need somebody to help me find something that I could've found with my eyes closed, in the dead of night, half asleep."
From there he says that he used to have a great memory, but now has to rely upon phone reminders for the simplest of tasks.
"And it's from the banging we did as football players," he said. "We used to tackle them by the head, used to grab facemasks. We used to allow Deacon Jones to do the head slap. All of that was something that we had to take away from the game. We used to hit quarterbacks below the knees. Now it's a strike zone. Let's keep making the game better." Sapp says that one path to a solution (or at least an improvement) would be barring kids from tackle football until they reach high school.
Check out the video above to see his two cents on the frequently debated subject.