BROCK AND SALK

Ex-Seahawk Matt Hasselbeck says he’s following his father’s footsteps in donating his brain for research

May 18, 2017, 11:23 AM | Updated: 11:24 am

"I’m not gonna need my brain once I’m dead; I barely need it now, so I figured why not?” (AP)...

"I’m not gonna need my brain once I’m dead; I barely need it now, so I figured why not?” (AP)

(AP)

LISTEN: Former QB Matt Hasselbeck on Russell Wilson leadership, brain donation

Former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck told “Brock and Salk” Thursday that he suffered only one documented concussion over his 17-year NFL career, but he’s decided to donate his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, following in his father’s footsteps.

“This is something that my dad had done,” Matt said of his dad Don, who spent eight seasons as a tight end in the NFL. “My dad was like, ‘Listen, I want the game to be safer for my grandkids,’ and there’s really just very little data out there. There’s not a ton of science, not a lot of studies that can tell us, hey is it safer to play soccer or football? We don’t actually know the answer to that. Is it more harmful for a bunch of small hits – say like an offensive tackle – or is it more dangerous or is it safer for a wide receiver or a quarterback who takes maybe four monster hits a season? What’s worse, what’s better? I just think helping the medical community out in any way that we can is the smart thing to do.”

Hasselbeck added: “I’m not gonna need my brain once I’m dead; I barely need it now, so I figured why not?”

Hasselbeck and two-time Super Bowl champion Leonard Marshall were the most recent former NFL players to announce their donations to the foundation for research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Former Seahawks Lofa Tatupu and Sidney Rice previously did so. Marshall says he already has short-term memory loss and erratic behavior. The 55-year-old former New York Giants defensive lineman was a teammate of Don Hasselbeck, who pledged his brain to the foundation in 2010.

More than 1,800 former athletes and military veterans have pledged to donate their brains to the Concussion Legacy Foundation for CTE research. The progressive degenerative brain disease has been linked to repeated head trauma.

Matt Hasselbeck spent 10 seasons in Seattle, where he said he had a great relationship with team doctors and athletic trainers.

“We had a great relationship so I trusted them enough to tell them the truth,” he said. “That’s not the case on a lot of teams. Some players feel like if I tell the team doctor the truth about my head, about my injury, he’s gonna tell the GM and the GM’s gonna cut me. And that’s just the unfortunate thing that we’ve had to change in the NFL and I think we really have.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Brock and Salk podcast

Brock and Salk

...

Seattle Sports Video

Video: Casey Sadler on injuries during his Major League Baseball career, the importance of mental health

What did former Seattle Mariners pitcher Casey Sadler have to say about his time in Seattle when he joined Mike Salk? How important is mental health and the focus on it in today’s game of baseball? He answers that and much more in his conversation on the Brock and Salk show. Is he still ready […]

1 hour ago

Seattle Mariners prospect Jonny Farmelo...

Zac Hereth

A surprising Mariners prospect Jeff Passan would avoid trading

ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan says outfielder Jonny Farmelo is a Seattle Mariners prospect he be wary of trading away.

1 day ago

Seattle Mariners trade target Luis Robert Jr....

Zac Hereth

Does a Luis Robert trade make sense for Mariners? Passan explains

Chicago White Sox outfielder Luis Robert's name has come up as a trade candidate for the Seattle Mariners. Insider Jeff Passan weighs in.

2 days ago

...

Seattle Sports Video

Video: Seattle Mariners legend Jay Buhner talks about the return of Buhner Buzz night, the ’24 Mariners

What did Seattle Mariners legend Jay Buhner have to say about the return of Buhner Buzz night? What does he think about this 2024 version of the Mariners? He joined Brock Huard and Mike Salk to talk about that and what it means to bring back on of the fan favorite events from the 90’s. […]

2 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Ryan Grubb OTAs 2024...

Cameron Van Til

How will new Seahawks OC Grubb need to adjust playbook for NFL?

Brock Huard explains how new Seattle Seahawks OC Ryan Grubb might need to adjust his playbook as he transitions from college to the NFL.

2 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Jaxon Smith-Njigba 49ers 2023...

Cameron Van Til

What would breakout year from Seahawks’ JSN look like?

If Seattle Seahawks WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba has a breakout season, what would that look like? Former NFL wideout Michael Bumpus weighs in.

3 days ago

Ex-Seahawk Matt Hasselbeck says he’s following his father’s footsteps in donating his brain for research