Irving Cross has been posthumously diagnosed with stage 4 chronic traumatic encephalopathy, commonly known as CTE, Boston researchers announced Tuesday.
Cross, who spent nine years in the NFL before becoming the first Black man to work as a full-time sports analyst on national television, passed away on Feb. 28, 2021. The Stage 4 CTE that he had often leads to symptoms such as profound memory loss, language deficits, mood disorders such as aggression, and dementia.
According to his window, Liz Cross, the former Philadelphia Eagles cornerback dealt with depression, mood swings, and memory loss towards the end of his life.
“He really didn’t want to be with people,” said Cross, per the AP. “The only person he wanted to be with was me. When he was with me, he really didn’t want to be with me. He just wanted me to be there.”
She added that he also became very paranoid and struggled to balance himself when standing.
“Toward the end,” Cross said, “he saw things that weren’t there.”
In 2018, he was diagnosed with mild cognitive dementia and would avoid watching NFL games to avoid embarrassment if asked about them.
“He was afraid someone would ask him a question,” Cross said, “and he wouldn’t know the answer.”
According to Liz Cross, her husband said that while he didn’t regret playing the sport, “he didn’t think kids should play football.”WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.