Former New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles fullback Kevin Turner passed away Thursday morning in Alabama after a long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He was just 46 years old.
Turner, a third-round pick of the Patriots back in 1992, had been battling the disease since his initial diagnosis back in 2010.
Following his diagnosis, Turner himself pointed to his NFL career, and more specifically, Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE):
“I love football, always have, always will. I know that all these hits to the head have contributed to my diagnosis. I just know it,” Turner said in 2012, via AL.com. “”But it could have been avoided, I believe, by just being smarter about it,” he said. “When you have had a concussion or you are seeing stars and hearing ringing in your head, you’ve got to report it to the trainers or the medical staff, and you need to take a break.”
Turner was a co-lead plaintiff in the concussion suit former players filed against the National Football League. He also focused on the link between brain trauma and ALS through the Kevin Turner Foundation prior to his death on Thursday.
Like a lot of other former players, Turner had agreed to donate his brain and spinal cord for further research after his death.
Turner’s father, Raymond, posted this to Facebook shortly following his son’s death:
“Just wanted to tell everyone, Myra and I lost a great son today. He will be missed so much, Thank everyone so very much over this journey we have had for all your support, prayers. He was ready to go to Heaven, excited he said. Love y’all, and thanks God Bless.”
Turner is survived by his wife, Allison, and three children.