Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti, one of the leaders of the Miami Dolphins' undefeated 1972 Super Bowl championship team, has said he'll donate his brain to further the study of concussions after his death.
"This is not easy, it's difficult. I'm not half the man I used to be," said Buoniconti, who will donate his brain to the Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy team at Boston University and the Concussion Legacy Foundation. "I don't do this for myself. I do it for the thousands of others who will follow me.
"My life, as I know it, has been taken away from me. ... I hope that my story and contribution will help thousands of others who are in this journey, or who will follow me."
The 76-year-old former linebacker went public with his health issues in May, telling Sports Illustrated that he sometimes feels "lost" and "like a child" and that he suffers from memory loss and cannot use his left hand, among other ailments.
Doctors confirmed then that he has brain issues that might be linked to playing 14 years of professional football, but Buoniconti then would not say he suffers from CTE.
"My NFL Hall of Fame father will be donating his brain ... when he passes away to help them better understand the issues affecting him, and the many others suffering from the aftermath of concussions," said Buoniconti's son, Marc, who is president of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.
"True to his nature, he continues to try and help others even while he wages his own battle. Just as he has done for me for more than 32 years as we've searched for a cure for paralysis, we will all stand beside him as he searches for answers."