The Real Story Behind Football and Concussions
The families of Alabama star, Super Bowl Champion, and NFL coach Ray Perkins and Alabama star and Super Bowl Champion Paul Crane revealed to the New York Times both Perkins and Crane were diagnosed with stage 3 (of 4) CTE at the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank after their respective deaths in 2020.
Perkins and Crane played with Ken Stabler, who died in 2015 and was also diagnosed with CTE. Former NFL players Steve Bowman, who died in 2017 with suspected CTE, and Dennis Homan, who is currently living with suspected CTE, were also on that 1965 National Championship team.
“You just see them really turn into someone totally different,” said Heike Crane, Paul Crane’s wife.
“He doesn’t know if he ate, what he ate, if he showered, if his daughter has called, if his granddaughter has called,” said Charlotte Homan, Dennis Homan’s wife.
For the Perkins family, going public with Ray’s diagnosis is an opportunity to help make the sport they love safer and help educate others on the risks.
“People are so scared of football dying or going away because of CTE and concussions," said Ray’s daughter Rachael Perkins, CLF’s social media and graphic design coordinator. “But my answer is that my dad went away. So, if you have a son, if you have a brother, if you have a husband, are you willing to just let them go away? I don’t want football to, but we need to worry about the people in our lives.”
If you or someone you love is worried about the effects of possible CTE, please reach out to the CLF HelpLine for support, personalized resources, and recommendations for treatment.