Former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Richmond, Virginia. Police Captain Yvonne Crowder said that local authorities have ruled Easterling’s each a suicide. The Falcons safety was one of the plaintiffs in a concussion class action lawsuit brought by a large group of former NFL players.
Easterling, part of the underrated “Grits Blitz” defenses run by defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville, was found by his wife, Mary Ann.
Over the last 20 years, he had suffered from many of the symptoms common to former players who suited up and kept playing through multiple concussions in the days when there was not the same information about the long-term effects of head trauma that we have today.
He went through bouts of depression and insomnia, and suffered severe memory loss toward the end of his life.
Easterling underwent 25 different surgeries during his life, and he was diagnosed with dementia in 2011.