During his 20-year NFL career, linebacker Junior Seau was portrayed by reporters as a superhero, impervious to injury.
But he was playing in pain, and plenty of it.
The San Diego Chargers star competed with a severe hamstring pull in 2000, even though his team was winless. Reporters ate it up, and one of them is now wondering whether he and other members of the media may have inadvertently played a role in Seau’s death at the age of 43.
“I don’t know what happened to Junior Seau. No one does,” Peter King writes in Sports Illustrated. “But I do know that it bothers me that I helped create this image of a man incapable of feeling what you and I feel. In the end he must have felt more pain than any of us could imagine.”
- Sports Illustrated: All Men Are Mortal
- Peter King, senior reporter for Sports Illustrated