The late Vincent Jackson, who became a prominent Tampa, Florida businessman after retiring from the NFL, suffered from a degenerative brain disease common among former football players. | Business Observer
The late Vincent Jackson, a 2012-2016 Tampa Bay Buccaneers star receiver, suffered from stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease caused by repetitive head injury, according to a Dec. 16 press release. by The Jackson Family and the Concussion Legacy Foundation.
Jackson was found dead, aged 38, in a Brandon hotel room on February 15 with no visible signs of physical injury or trauma. His cause of death has remained a mystery, but speculation has focused on the CTE, common among retired NFL players who have suffered concussions.
The affliction, which cannot be diagnosed during a person’s lifetime, can lead to abnormal behaviors such as aggression, impulsivity, depression, anxiety, paranoia, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts, as well as progressive cognitive symptoms, eventually leading to dementia. Jackson’s brain, the statement said, was donated for further research into the disease.
âVincent has devoted a great part of his life to helping others. Even after his death, I know he would want to continue this same legacy, âsaid Lindsey Jackson, Vincent’s widow, in the statement. “By donating her brain to the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank, we hope to continue to see advances in CTE research, allowing physicians to diagnose the disease in living beings and ultimately find treatment options.” in the future. There is still a lot to understand about CTE, and education is the key to prevention.
“So many football players have died with CTE and so little is being done to make football safer by limiting the number of repetitive sub-concussion hits.” Dr Ann McKee, Head of Neuropathology at the VA Boston Healthcare System
After his retirement in 2016, Jackson established himself as a businessman and philanthropist in the Tampa Bay area. He was the majority partner of Callaloo Group, an investment firm that revitalized the Manhattan Casino building in South St. Petersburg with 22 South, a multi-restaurant food court.
In shock at Jackson’s death, Callaloo Group closed the venue in April. It was relaunched by Urban Collective, a group of seven St. Pete entrepreneurs, in October.
Jackson, a Business Observer 40 Under 40 Honoree in 2020, also founded CTV Capital, a real estate development company that had projects in Florida, California and Nevada, as well as the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation, a nonprofit that supports families of military.
Doctors who studied Jackson’s brain are pointing fingers at football and saying the sport needs drastic changes, at all levels, to prevent CTE.
“So many football players have died from CCE and so little is being done to make football safer by limiting the number of repeated under-concussion,” says Dr Ann McKee, head of neuropathology at VA Boston Healthcare System and director of the BU CTE Center and VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank, in the press release.
Concussion Legacy Foundation co-founder Dr. Chris Nowinski, a former Harvard football player, calls Jackson’s death a “wake-up call” for current and retired NFL players. âIf a quadruple named Walter Payton Man of the Year who has never had a diagnosed concussion can lose his fight with CTE at just 38,â he says, âit can happen to anyone.