Tim Shaw, who played linebacker and special teams for four teams from 2007 through 2013, posted this video on the Titans' website today. Before completing the ice bucket challenge, he announces that this isn't just about raising awareness. Shaw, 30, reveals his own ALS diagnosis.
"A year ago, I was playing NFL football. I've recently been diagnosed with ALS. I'm here today to stand up and fight with all of you against this disease."
It's not brave to dunk your head in ice water. It's brave to face a little-understood neurodegenerative disease that will invariably waste your body and take your life, and to do it with a smile.
That's the elephant in the room, though, isn't it? Study after study links football to head trauma, and head trauma to a host of chronic brain diseases. A 2012 study found football players are four times more likely to die from ALS and Alzheimer's. The NFL is going to pay out hundreds of millions to settle a lawsuit alleging the league hid the long-term effects of brain trauma from its players.
Roger Goodell takes the ice bucket challenge for ALS awareness and says nothing. Tim Shaw's says everything.