Hall-of-Famer Gale Sayers’ Family Blames Star’s Dementia On Football
By Ken Reed
Former Chicago Bears great Gale Sayers has been diagnosed with dementia, according to his family. Sayers’ wife, Ardythe Sayers, said the 73-year-old former running back was actually diagnosed four years ago but the condition wasn’t made public at that time.
“Like the doctor at the Mayo Clinic said, ‘Yes, a part of this has to be on football,’” said Ardie Sayers at the couple’s home in Wakarusa, Indiana.
Mrs. Sayers said her husband physically is very healthy but his mental condition has deteriorated.
“That brain controls everything, doesn’t it?” added Ardie Sayers.
Gale Sayers’ brother Roger talked about how tough it is to watch his brother’s mental capacity decline. It’s “tough” to “build memories all your life, and the next thing you know you don’t remember anything,” said Roger Sayers.
The Sayers’ revelation follows closely the news that another former pro football star, Dwight Clark, is suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease and that Clark believes playing football might be the cause.
“I don’t know for sure,” said Clark. “But I certainly suspect it did.”
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
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Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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