05-29-2017  8:15 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Portland Art Museum Hosts Upstanders Festival May 27

Event includes spoken word, workshops and poster making in support of social justice ...

Happy Memorial Day

The Skanner wishes readers a safe and happy Memorial Day ...

North Portland Library Announces June Computer Classes

Upcoming courses include Introduction to Spreadsheets, What is the Cloud? and Learn Programming with Games ...

Merkley to Hold Town Hall in Clackamas County

Sen. Jeff Merkley to hold town hall in Clackamas County, May 30 ...

NAACP Monthly Meeting Notice, May 27, Portland

NAACP Portland invites the community to its monthly general membership meeting ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Ensuring the Promise of the Every Student Succeeds Act

The preservation of Thurgood Marshall's legacy is dependent upon our dedication to our children ...

CFPB Sues Ocwen Financial over Unfair Mortgage Practices

What many homeowners soon discover is that faithfully paying a monthly mortgage is in some cases, just not enough ...

B-CU Grads Protest Betsy “DeVoid” in Epic Fashion

Julianne Malveaux says that Betsy “DeVoid,” is no Mary McLeod Bethune ...

NAACP on Supreme Court's Decline to Review NC Voter ID Law

NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks made the following remarks ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT


Paul Oliver(CNN) -- Paul Oliver, a former defensive back for the University of Georgia and the San Diego Chargers, was found dead this week, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot.

His death marks the latest in a string of suicides among former professional football players.

"Everyone in the Chargers family is sad today after hearing the news about Paul," a statement from the NFL team said. "He was part of our family for five years. At just 29 years old, he still had a lifetime in front of him. Right now all of our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this most difficult time."

He leaves behind a wife and two children, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

"We appreciate all the thoughts and prayers," the family said in a statement to The San Diego Union-Tribune. "We request privacy in the wake of this tragic loss."

Mark Richt, coach of the University of Georgia Bulldogs, called it "a very sad day."

"I just want to say it's been rough," he told reporters. "I just want to tell everybody in his family that we're thinking about them and we love them. We'll do whatever we can to help."

Police found Oliver's body Tuesday night at the bottom of a set of stairs in a home in Marietta, Georgia, Cobb County police spokesman Sgt. Dana Pierce said. A family member had called 911.

The county medical examiner ruled the death a suicide by handgun and gave police authorization to release the cause.

Oliver played for the Chargers from 2007 to 2011, recording 144 tackles in 57 games.

A former teammate, Eric Weddle, described Oliver as "charismatic, funny but also quiet and reserved," The Union-Tribune reported. "He never said a bad word about anyone. Just a good, genuine guy."

The circumstances of his apparent suicide were not immediately clear.

Suicides of some other former NFL players involved brain injuries.

Star NFL linebacker Junior Seau was 43 when he took his own life in May 2012. The National Institutes of Health later found he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a neurodegenerative brain disease that can follow multiple hits to the head.

A study published in December in the journal Brain looked at brain tissue of 34 professional football players after they died. All but one showed evidence of disease.

In April 2012, former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling, 62, committed suicide. An autopsy found signs of CTE.

In February 2011, former Chicago Bears defensive back Dave Duerson, 50, committed suicide with a gunshot to the chest, rather than his head, so his brain could be researched for CTE. Boston University researchers found the disease in his brain.

In December 2012, Jovan Belcher of the Kansas City Chiefs killed his girlfriend before taking his own life. His remains were not tested for CTE, media reports said.

The NFL launched a crisis support line in July 2012 for players, former players and their families. Called NFL Life Line, it operates independently from the NFL and promises to keep all calls confidential.

"There is no higher priority for the National Football League than the health and wellness of our players," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a letter to personnel and fans at the time.

 

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