HBO's 'Real Sports' To Feature Chelsea Oliver, Wife Of Former NFL Player Whose Suicide May Be Linked To Head Trauma

Paul and Chelsea Oliver
Paul Oliver committed suicide last September. It's believed he did it because he had CTE. YouTube/Screenshot

The National Football League has faced scrutiny from every angle lately, from Adrian Petersen and Ray Rice’s domestic violence to the NFL’s faulty drug policy. But perhaps one of the bigger stories has been its admission earlier this month that one-third of its players will develop long-term cognitive problems that will likely be diagnosed at “notably younger ages.” The League came to that conclusion after settling a lawsuit involving over 5,000 players who claimed it hadn’t disclosed the dangers of head trauma to them — all of them had gone on to develop dementia or other forms of cognitive decline.

Besides cognitive decline, it’s also believed that head injuries in football contributed to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive degeneration of the brain that causes impulsiveness, confusion, depression, aggression, and dementia. One such player who had that was 29-year-old San Diego Chargers defensive back Paul Oliver, who shot himself in the head last September in front of his wife and two sons.

His family filed a lawsuit against the league on Monday asserting that his death was a “direct result of the injuries, depression, and emotional suffering caused by repetitive head trauma and concussions suffered as a result of playing football, not properly appreciating football’s risks with respect to head trauma,” and using faulty helmets, the Associated Press reported.

On Oct. 21, HBO will air an episode of Real Sports that digs into the subject of head trauma and CTE. The episode will feature Oliver’s wife Chelsea, with interviews by Bryant Gumble. You can see a clip from the episode below. 

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