Former NFL player Kevin Turner died Thursday morning after a long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), AL.com reported. He was 46.
"Just wanted to tell ever one, Myra and I lost a great son today," Kevin's father, Raymond Turner, posted on Facebook. "He will be missed so much, Thank everyone so very much over this journey we have had for all your support ,prayers. He was ready to go to Heaven, excited he said. Love y'all, and thanks God Bless."
A former teammate of Dabo Swinney's at Alabama who played for the Patriots and Eagles during his eight-year NFL career, Turner was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disorder, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in 2010.
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He then became an advocate to raise ALS awareness, and became a lead plaintiff in the concussion suit filed by former players against the NFL to bring attention to the damage that resulted from football's repeated hits, which Turner believed resulted in his condition.
Turner told The Washington Post in 2014 that he wanted researchers to study his brain and spinal cord after his death to better understand the link.
"If you look back to the punishment that we were doing to our own brains, it's ridiculous and doesn't makes sense for a man to bang in his own head against a wall," he said.
However, Turner said he had no regrets about football -- it gave him a purpose, both then and now.
"I think my life will at least mean something," he said. "I think all of us want our life to mean something."
AL.com reports Turner is survived by his wife, Allison, and three children. In January, Swinney offered Turner's oldest son Nolan a scholarship to play at Clemson.