11-19-2017  7:58 pm      •     
MLK Breakfast
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NEWS BRIEFS

SEI, Sunshine Division Offer Thanksgiving Meals to Families in Need

Turkeys are being provided to fill 200 Thanksgiving food boxes for SEI families ...

NAACP Portland Monthly Meeting Nov. 18

Monthly general membership meeting takes place on Saturday, 12 - 2 p.m. ...

Multnomah County Animal Services Waives Adoption Fees Nov. 17

Special runs from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday ...

Fitzpatrick Presents 'Pathway 1000' Plan Before City Council

Plan would restore involuntary displacement by building 80 homes per year ...

Sisters Network to Hold Monthly Meeting Nov. 11

Meeting to take place Saturday morning at June Key Delta Center ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Local Author Visits North Portland Library

Renee Watson teaches students and educators about the power of writing ...

Is the FBI’s New Focus on “Black Identity Extremists” the New COINTELPRO?

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.) talks about the FBI’s misguided report on “Black Identity Extremism” and negative Facebook ads. ...

ACA Enrollment Surging, Even Though It Ends Dec. 15

NNPA contributing writer Cash Michaels writes about enrollment efforts ...

Blacks Often Pay Higher Fees for Car Purchases than Whites

Charlene Crowell explains why Black consumers often pay higher fees than White consumers, because of “add-on” products. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Josh Levs, Steve Almasy and Joe Sutton CNN

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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