Tim Shaw reveals ALS diagnosis

Tim Shaw, the former NFL linebacker, posted his own ice bucket video, but with a revelation as well: that he too is suffering from ALS. Ice bucket challenge viral videos have helped boost awareness and donations to help find a cure for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) as celebrities have flocked to get wet for a good cause. Shaw played college football for five years before being drafted in the NFL where he played for another seven. He was well-liked and talented, and often served as the captain of special teams.

Is NFL To Blame For Shaw’s ALS?

Shaw is one of the youngest people to ever be diagnosed with ALS. Combine that with the growing awareness to the neurological stress that the often physical game of football has on its players and people can’t help but wonder about the connection. There are stories of concussions, brain damage, muscle spasms and memory gaps. In his article for Forbes, Dan Diamond suggests that there is an undeniable link to the traumas involved in football — specifically for linebackers like Shaw — and the likelihood of developing a neurological disease. Diamond produces a graph and study from the CDC that finds football players at an elevated risk for ALS, Parkinson’s and several other brain-degenerative illnesses because of the risks they take.

At best, the NFL will compensate Shaw and his family five million dollars if it can be proven that the diagnosis was due to injuries he sustained during his years of play. Shaw retired from the league earlier this year, just a few months before the diagnosis. Shaw is thirty years old.

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