Brittny Gastineau Says She is Heartbroken by Her Father’s Dementia Diagnosis
Brittny Gastineau, socialite and daughter of New York Jets football legend, Mark Gastineau, has said that she was “heartbroken” when she learned about the father’s Alzheimer’s and dementia diagnosis and says she blames the NFL for allowing rough play all these years despite knowing the effects of concussions on players. According to a news report in The Daily Mail, the 60-year-old former defensive end revealed in an interview last week that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, both of which result in gradual mental decline.
Football and Traumatic Brain Injuries
Gastineau has also been told that he has Parkinson’s disease, a condition that hampers movement and affects brain function. Brittny, who lives in Los Angeles, has said she is utterly devastated by her dad’s diagnosis. Brittny and her mother Lisa achieved fame through the 2005 reality series, The Gastineau Gils, which followed their daily lives in their hometown, New York City. She has said that her father’s diagnosis will help bring more attention to this crucial issue.
She has also called out the NFL for ignoring the severity of players’ brain injuries and for failing to make the sport safer. Gastineau was a fixture in the Jets lineup between 1979 and 1988. He has talked about the role football has played in his diagnosis, saying players back then would hit each other pretty hard without worrying about consequences. He has also said current football players will pay more attention to this issue and learn from what has happened to him and many other players who have suffered a similar fate.
Problems Relating to Concussions
Several former football stars, all of whom suffered dementia, have been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE, which was previously believed to exist only among boxers. CTE is a progressive, degenerative disease, which affects the brains of those who have suffered repeated concussions and traumatic brain injuries. It is a condition of brain damage, which persists over a period of years or decades and which is the result of traumatic impacts to the cranium. Concussions and the brain injuries that follows is such a prominent problem in the football industry that over 4,500 retired players took the NFL on and received $765 million settlement from a NFL concussion lawsuit.
CTE has had life-changing impacts on individuals and their families. Some of the common symptoms include loss of memory, difficult controlling impulsive or erratic behavior, impaired judgment, bouts of aggression or depression and the gradual onset of dementia. Several cases involving football players have garnered media attention particular the case of Junior Seau, who ended up committing suicide. It is time for the NFL to start putting players’ safety and well being before its profits.