The late former Eagles cornerback Irv Cross was posthumously diagnosed Tuesday with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, commonly known as CTE, the Associated Press reports.
Cross suffered from depression, mood swings and memory loss in his post-playing days. Cross and his family made the decision to donate his brain to help raise awareness of the long-term consequences of repeated blows to the head, the AP reported.
Boston University researchers said Tuesday that when Cross passed away in 2021 he was suffering from Stage 4 CTE, the most advanced stage of the brain disease which is believed to be linked to repeated head injuries and blows to the head.
In a report released earlier this month, Boston University reported finding levels of CTE in 91.7 percent of 376 former NFL players they studied.
The NFL in 2014 settled a class action lawsuit with retired players for over $1 billion after the retired players accused the league of not warning players and hiding the damages of brain injury.
Cross's wife, Liz, told the Associated Press that her husband did not regret his football career despite the complications later in life - but that "he didn't think kids should play football."
Cross, who passed away in February 2021 at age 81, played cornerback for the Eagles from 1961 to 1965, earning two Pro Bowl nods, and returned for a final season in Philadelphia in 1969. Cross went on to a pioneering career in sports broadcasting with CBS, becoming the first African-American person to work as a sports analyst on national television.
Cross tallied 16 interceptions, nine fumble recoveries, and 1.5 sacks in his 83 career games with the Eagles.