By Ken Reed
As he announced that he was donating his brain to researchers at the CTE Center at Boston University, Nick Buoniconti simultaneously ripped the National Football League (NFL) for failing players and not doing enough to support brain injury research.
“The fact that the NFL pulled its funding from Ann McKee’s research prompted me to come up here and make a statement that the NFL is only in it for the money, and they don’t care about the guys who preceded me,” said Buoniconti, speaking haltingly, in an interview before the announcement.
“I’m really angry because they turned their backs on us and it’s not a responsible way to do things.”
Buoniconti arrived at the news conference in a wheelchair, wearing his Super Bowl VII ring.
“I owe it to the thousands of others who will follow me on this trek,” Buoniconti said in the interview.
“My life is not what it was, and I just want to be able to help with Ann’s (Dr. Ann McKee) research and hopefully the research will end up helping so many other players.”
In recent years, Buoniconti has become more forgetful. He also as had trouble speaking and completing basic tasks. At the news conference, Buoniconti said that he was also falling more frequently, and had to call 911 five times in the past two years.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of FansPrint
- League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.