Mick Foley and Jeff Hardy have announced that they’ll be donating their brains for CTE research after their deaths.
For those who don’t know, CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) is a brain disease found in many athletes who have a history of concussions or taking hard hits to the head. Former WWE Superstar Chris Nowinski has been spearheading research on this issue after his wrestling career ended due to concussions.
Hardy recently appeared on Ring Rust Radio where he was asked about concussions in wrestling and how Kevin Nash and Rob Van Dam both announced that they’ll be donating their brains for CTE research. Hardy announced in the following response that he plans on doing the exact same.
“My wife read where Kevin Nash announced that and I said, ‘Oh my God I have to do that.’ I for sure will do whatever it takes and I would love to be a part of that. It’s a huge serious issue in wrestling. I’ve rung my bells so many times especially back in the day when chair shots to the head were legal. My goodness, I took so many of those. Luckily, I’m only aware of about two or three concussions that I have had but there’s really no way of telling how many overall. When Nash announced he was doing that I was on board and I didn’t know that RVD did as well. That really inspired me to do the same thing.”
WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley took to Twitter yesterday to respond to a fan that said he should donate his brain to science, saying that is exactly what he plans to do.
— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) March 16, 2016
Mark’s reaction: I think Mick has talked about donating his brain while he was with TNA, but talking about it again now when the issue has become more relevant is important. Both Jeff and Mick have taken some extreme shots to the head during their matches in the past, so I wouldn’t be surprised (when the day comes) if the doctors find cases of CTE in the two of them. It’s nice to see that concussions are being taken more seriously now than they have been in the past. More sports are taking concussion protocol more seriously, including WWE. It’s in the best interest of the company to take care of their wrestlers, especially when it comes to their brains. Even if this means not being able to clear wrestlers to compete anymore, akin to Daniel Bryan and Corey Graves who had to retire due to concussions.
Good for Hardy and Foley. These are necessary steps that need to be taken in order to help the future of pro-wrestling, sports and better understanding brain damage and concussions in general.