OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp announced on Twitter he is donating his brain for medical research.
The former Oakland Raiders player is starting to feel the effects of all the hits he took to the head. Now he wants his brain to go to the Concussion Legacy Foundation after his death.
In a heartfelt letter written in the Players Tribune, Sapp said he is “giving back to the game that has given so much to me.”
“My whole goal when I started playing football was to leave the game better than it was when I started playing,” he wrote.
— Concussion L.F. (@ConcussionLF) June 20, 2017
Sapp played defensive tackle from 1995-2003 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he earned seven trips to the Pro Bowl and a Super Bowl ring in 2002. He then played for the Oakland Raiders from 2004-2007.
“I remember the month-long training camps where we just banged and banged and hit, and it was ‘who’s tough?’ It was bad, it was Neanderthals, we were dinosaurs,” Sapp says in a YouTube video.
“There’s no way any of us wanna 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,” he says. “I’m deteriorating right before my own eyes. It’s the most frightening feeling.”
Sapp says he used to have the memory of an elephant, but now he relies on the reminder apps in his phone to help him get through his day for appointments and different things he has to do.
“It is from the banging we did as football players,” he says.
Sapp may appear lighthearted in the video, but his message is dead serious. He says tackle football should be eliminated for youngsters, until they high school. Then they can play the game they know and love and become good at it.”
“Let’s get the research and supply the knowledge and make it all better for everybody.”
WATCH WARREN SAPP: