Jason Hairston took his own life at his home in Dixon, California, on Tuesday.
This was revealed by his wife Kirstyn and the rest of the team at Kuiu, the hunting clothing business that Hairston founded and saw grow into a company valued at $ 50 million earlier this year.
That business also introduced Hairston to his good friend and fellow hunter Donald Trump Jr., who had just been on a trip to Canada with the businessman who hunted sheep just days before his suicide.
"We are incredibly sad to report that Jason Hairston, the visionary leader and founder of KUIU, was found dead at his home in Dixon, CA on September 4, 2018," the company said in a statement.
& # 39; It took his life & # 39;
Hairston was a star football player at the University of California, Davis, who later signed with the San Francisco 49ers and then played for the Denver Broncos.
He was also open about the effects of that race, and he said in an interview in 2016: "I played as a linebacker, and because of the way I played the game, I did it with my head, I played the way they tell us not to play Now, I have all the symptoms of CTE. "
That's why your family is now asking for donations to the Concussion Legacy Foundation of Boston University.
In addition to his wife Kirstyn, Hairston is survived by his son Cash and his daughter Coco.
Tragedy: Jason Hairston was found dead at his home in California on Tuesday at the age of 47, a few days after hunting with Donald Trump Jr. in Canada (Hairston and his wife at the opening)
Scene: his family says he took his life & # 39; and are asking for donations for CTE's research in honor of Hairston instead of flowers (Hairston's house above)
Big loss: Hairston died a few days after hunting with Donald Trump Jr in Canada (a couple more up in August while hunting sheep)
Family: Hairston, who had been opened about suffering from CTE, is survived by his wife Kirstyn and their two small children
Baller: Hairston was a star football player at the University of California, Davis, who signed with the San Francisco 49ers and then played for the Denver Broncos.
The last known photo of Hairston was published by one of his many admirers on social media, and the man wrote: "Sorry for your loss". I was with [Hairston] SEP 2 in Prudhoe Bay. Great boy. & # 39;
The photo shows Hairston with his son and two fans in the northern part of Alaska, which is one of the few parts of the United States that is actually in the Arctic Circle.
That was Sunday, just a few days before his sudden death.
Hairston is the last NFL star to possibly lose his life due to CTE, which was found in players in the previous league, including Aaron Hernandez, Junior Seau and Frank Gifford.
A person can not be diagnosed with CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) while they are alive, even if they have clear symptoms.
This is due to the fact that the only way to diagnose your CTE is in a post-mortem examination.
One conducted by the University of Boston in 2015 found CTE in 87 of 91 players.
Hairston talked about his symptoms in a 2016 interview with CNBC's Squawk Box, and said he was pleased to see that the league finally recognized that there was a link between CTE and related concussions.
Hairston seemed to be enjoying his success and hard work over the past year, and in July he traveled to Paris with his wife to celebrate his birthday.
He shared a picture of him and his wife at the Four Seasons on that trip, and wrote: "Celebrating my 47th anniversary with my best friend and soul mate in Paris, France tonight."
Kirstyn is currently the vice president of Kuiu, and could take over the company following the death of her husband.
One last trip: on his last trip he was also joined by his own son, Cash, and his father, Mike, as he headed north to Canada and Alaska.
Final look: the last known photo of Hairston was published by one of his many admirers to social networks, with the man writing: "Sorry for your loss". I was with [Hairston] SEP 2 in Prudhoe Bay. Great boy. & # 39; (above)
Celebration: Hairston seemed to be enjoying his success and hard work over the past year, and in July he traveled to Paris with his wife to celebrate his birthday (above)
Work event: Hairston and son with the Pences at the 2017 White House party (above)
Success: He played football at the University of California and signed with the 49ers and Broncos before starting the Kuiu apparel company, which was worth $ 50M earlier this year (up with President Trump in September 2016)
The best of the cocoons: Don Jr was devastated by the loss when he remembered his friend on Instagram (he mated in August)
The friendship of Hairston with Don Jr also allowed him to obtain a position in the federal government in the Department of the Interior, where he served as liaison between the head of the agency, Ryan Zinke, and groups of athletes on topics such as conservation and land. public.
That role came after Hairston worked to garner support among the sports groups for Trump during the campaign, and it was Don Jr who suggested his friend for the position.
Hairston said that when news of his position was made public, it was actually Don Jr.'s second choice for the position.
"It's really a role I hoped to fill, but it can not because of the conflict of interest," he told Politico.
The two men had a last trip a few days ago, something that Don Jr remembered while doing a tribute to his friend.
– Jason, I do not have words. I will always remember our adventures and share a bonfire with you, "wrote Don Jr. on Instagram.
"They will be some of my best outdoor experiences, you were and will continue to be an inspiration to all outdoor enthusiasts for generations to come, thanks for friendship and memories, my friend, I'll miss you.
Hairston's brother, Adam, thanked Don Jr for his kind words on Instagram and mentioned the trip the two men made together recently.
It was a successful trip this year for Don Jr, Hairston and his friends, who managed to catch several Great Great Pike and two large horned sheep during their hunt.
Matt Forsyth, who once again joined Don Jr on the trip, posed with the slain sheep for a photo on Instagram, writing: "One of our two stallions from last week! Congratulations to @jasonmhairston for his BEAUTIFUL sheep! Travel of your life! & # 39;
Hairston also posted a photo with the other sheep, declaring: "We covered many miles in 6 hard days before my Guide Brad Alexander found this heavy 10-year-old ram lying alone in a basin."
In his last photo on Instagram, he was seen going out hunting with his son and his father.
BRAIN INJURIES IN SPORT: THE FAST FACTS ON RISKS, TESTS, SYMPTOMS AND RESEARCH
by Mia de Graaf, US Health Editor UU
As athletes of all sports talk about their fears about brain injuries, we review the facts they need to know about risks, symptoms, tests and research.
1. Concussion is a threat: great successes are not the problem, ALL hits on the head cause harm
All sports insist that they are doing more to avoid concussions in athletes to protect their brain health.
However, Boston University (the main center on this subject) published a pioneering study in January to demolish the obsession with concussions.
The concussions, they discovered, are the false trail: it is not a "big blow" that triggers the beginning of a neurodegenerative brain disease. Not a big hit either. it makes it more likely.
In fact, it is the experience of repeated sub-controlled successes over time that increases the likelihood of brain disease.
In short: any tackle or header in a game, or even in practice, increases the risk of a player developing a brain disease.
2. What is the dreaded CTE disease?
Head injuries can cause various brain injuries, including ALS (the disease that Stephen Hawking suffered), Parkinson's disease, and dementia.
But CTE is one that seems to be particularly associated with blows to the head (while others commonly occur in non-athletes).
CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) is a degenerative disease of the brain that is caused by repeated blows to the head.
It is very similar to Alzheimer's in the way it starts with inflammation and the accumulation of tau proteins in the brain.
These groups of tau protein accumulate in the frontal lobe, which controls emotional expression and judgment (similar to dementia).
This interrupts normal functioning and blood flow in the brain, altering and destroying nerve cells.
Gradually, these proteins multiply and spread, slowly killing other cells in the brain. Over time, this process begins to trigger symptoms in the patient, including confusion, depression and dementia.
In the later stages (there are four stages of the pathology), the tau deposits expand from the frontal lobe (in the upper part) to the temporal lobe (in the sides). This affects the amygdala and the hippocampus, which controls emotion and memory.
3. What are the symptoms?
The victims and their families described them as "ghosts".
CTE affects emotion, memory, spatial awareness and control of anger.
- Suicidal thoughts
- Uncontrollable anger
- Forgetting names, people, things (like dementia)
- Refusing to eat or talk
4. Can patients be diagnosed during life?
No. Although a person may suffer clear symptoms of CTE, the only way to diagnose their CTE is through a post mortem examination.
More than 3,000 former athletes and military veterans have pledged to donate their brains to the Concussion Legacy Foundation for CTE's investigation.
Meanwhile, there are several studies on current and previous players to identify biomarkers that can detect CTE.