By Adam Tate, Managing Editor
Dale Earnhardt Jr. pledged on Sunday to donate his brain to science.
Yes, you read that right. The NASCAR star and son of the late Dale Earnhardt made the decision after reading on Sport’s Illustrated about team mate’s of former Oakland Raider, Ken Stabler. Stabler recently passed away and an autopsy revealed he had severe brain injuries. Three of his former team mates have since come forward and pledged to donate their brains to science in order for scientists to better understand chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a debilitating condition caused by frequent concussions.
Earnhardt himself, suffered multiple concussions in the 2012 NASCAR season, one from a 40G impact. The injuries forced him to sit out for two races that fall.
It is a new move, for a driver to come forward. Despite drivers generally suffering fewer concussions than football players, they can suffer greater ones due to the high speeds reached and the severity of impacts, such as the 40G wreck Earnhardt had in Kansas in 2012.
With greater emphasis coming on driver head protection, especially in open wheel series, Earnhardt should be commended for his pledge.
Image: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images