Ken Stabler Suffered From CTE, According to Boston U Doctor

Raiders Ken Stabler

Before he died of colon cancer on July 10, 2015, former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler agreed to donate his brain to Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center for research.

The results of that research have come back and it confirms that Stabler suffered from CTE.

Stabler passed away at the age of 69, but according to his longtime partner, Kim Bush, he was suffering from headaches, disorientation, forgetfulness, and trouble sleeping as he entered his 60s.


“We talked at length about head injury,” Bush told OTL. “And he … he was certain that what he was suffering was the consequences of playing football. I asked him point-blank, “What are your feelings about that in terms of donating your brain for research and the science?’ And that’s the night he told me that, “Yeah, I definitely should do that, that’s the right thing for me to do.”

The brain of Stabler was examined by Dr. Ann McKee, a neurology and pathology professor at Boston University. When discussing her findings, she told ESPN, “He had very substantial lesions. They were widespread. They were very classic. There was no question about the diagnosis.” She also noted that the lesions were well established in some areas, so it’s likely Stabler had been suffering from CTE for quite a while.

“The Snake” is the first well-known quarterback to be diagnosed with CTE. He began playing football at the age of 9, playing 15 seasons in the NFL with the Raiders, Houston Oilers, and New Orleans Saints from 1970-1984.

Tags: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, CTE, Ken Stabler, NFL, Oakland Raiders,