MIAMI – Miami Dolphins legend Nick Buoniconti was in tears Friday when he announced that he had vowed to donate his brain to researchers at Boston University after his death.
The former linebacker said he wanted researchers to study his brain to expand their knowledge on the debilitating brain disease of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The researchers have detected CTE in the brains of 111 former NFL players.
"I am not half the man I used to be. I don't do this for myself. I do this for the thousands of others who will follow me. My life, as I know it, has been taken away from me," Buoniconti said during a joint news conference organized by the Concussion Legacy Foundation and the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank.
Buoniconti, 76, said his doctors believe CTE could be contributing to his struggle with dementia. He was a member of the Miami Dolphins' undefeated 1972 team and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
"I don't believe there are any miracles with this disease," Buoniconti said. "I hope that my story and contribution will help thousands of others who are in this journey, or who will follow me."