The Loss of Chicago Bear Gaines Adams

With the news of Chicago Bear Gaines Adams’ passing this week, there has been a wide array of speculation as to what caused him to go into cardiac arrest. Yesterday, however, some of those rumors generated were put to rest by an autopsy report which discovered Adams had an enlarged heart. As ESPN reported earlier today,  an enlarged heart is not abnormal for athletes, nor is it the sure reason why Adams went into cardiac arrest. However, it has raised other issues in regard to medical exams on professional athletes. An enlarged heart is not a condition that directly causes a person to go into cardiac arrest, but it can be a sign or symptom of other very serious heart/health conditions.

This raises some interesting questions: If the NFL is so concerned about player health and insists on extensive annual medical examinations, how was Adams’ condition not found sooner? If it was found sooner, could it have saved his life? Did the NFL somehow miss performing an EKG on Adams upon entering the NFL (standard procedure)? If so, are they at fault to some extent in this situation for not finding this condition sooner? Should athlete examinations undergo a reform to make sure such conditions are not overlooked in the future?

Gaines Adams’ full autopsy and toxicology report will be made available within the next couple of months. Until then, we can only continue to speculate as outsiders.

Our hearts go out to Gaines Adams and his loved ones in this time of sorrow. He was a gifted athlete whose potential had not yet peaked, and a dedicated family-man that will truly be missed.

– Andrew Teunis, Director of Business Development – ISPA

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4 Responses to “The Loss of Chicago Bear Gaines Adams”

  1. Kevin P says:

    As a sports fan, anytime an athlete is taken from us I am saddened by the loss; no longer will we be able to watch this superior athlete compete and my heart goes out to his family. What makes this loss especially troubling is that it possibly could’ve been avoided. If it is true that the members of the NFL didn’t follow proper protocol and they are at fault for the death of Mr. Adams then I personally feel serious changes need to be made. Everyone speaks about the league as a business and they correct in doing so; however, far too often this business makes people greedy and it would appear in this case someone (or more likely multiple people) skipped what apparently was a very important step for this young man to enter the league and because of their negligence and the results from it one almost has to wonder if there is something more to this story. I shudder to think that sources around Mr. Adams knew that he possibly wouldn’t pass his physical and therefore opted to skip it in order to make a buck off of the talent of this individual. From what I understand, Mr. Adams was a model citizen; we are not only losing a great football player, but also a great human being. If the reason for this is monetary, a part of this fan isn’t going to cheer quite as loudly on Sundays next year, because to me the human life is far more important then any business ever will be.

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