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Family of Harrisburg football star Adrian Robinson says death linked to concussions

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HARRISBURG, Pa. — The family of local football star Adrian Robinson issued a statement this morning, linking his May suicide to concussions he suffered while playing football. Robinson starred at Harrisburg High School and Temple, and played for several teams in the NFL, including the Pittsburgh Steelers. He had signed to play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League this spring, but was found dead in his Philadelphia apartment on May 16th. The medical examiner ruled Robinson had hanged himself.

The family’s statement is below:

On May 16, 2015, Adrian Robinson, Jr. left this world too early. Many people knew Adrian as a talented football player who grew up in Harrisburg, PA, attended Temple University, and ultimately played in the National Football League for several NFL teams. What they may not know is that Adrian was an even better person off the field where he was a beloved son, brother, father, and a friend to so many people who continue to miss him dearly. He was truly a remarkable person who was loving, kind and had a great sense of humor. His passing was a devastating blow and those who knew him have struggled to understand the circumstances surrounding his death.

Earlier this week we received information from medical professionals which helps explain his untimely death. During his football career Adrian endured several concussions and we now know that he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). This disease has been linked to symptoms in other NFL players such as dementia, aggression, depression, and in many cases suicide. This diagnosis has helped us gain a better understanding of Adrian’s passing.

We would like to thank the CTE Center at Boston University for their exhaustive clinical and pathological review of Adrian’s case. We pledge our continuing support to the CTE Center and any other organization committed to better understanding and combating CTE. We strongly encourage friends and family members of those who have suffered serious head injury to intervene if they notice behavioral changes including memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, and impulse control problems. If we can prevent one other family from enduring a similar tragedy, we will have honored Adrian’s legacy.