A former NFL quarterback survived an apparent suicide attempt Tuesday, when he shot himself at a California motel.
Erik Kramer, who played for four different NFL teams during a 10-year career, was found by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies at a Calabasas motel, according to NBC News, which cited law enforcement sources. Kramer’s injury was described as not life-threatening by police, but Kramer’s ex-wife, Marshawn, told NBC that Kramer’s sister told her the injury was more serious than cops were letting on.
“This is brain injury.”
Marshawn said she believes the suicide attempt was a result of brain damage from his time playing football.
“He is a very amazing man, a beautiful soul, but he has suffered depression since he was with the Bears,” she said. “I can promise you he is not the same man I married.”
Kramer has two sons, one of whom died in 2011 from a heroin overdose, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The other, Dillon, is 17.
“He’s such a good dad and he would not do this to his son,” Marshawn said. “This is brain injury.”
The effect of brain trauma experienced by NFL players during their post-career years has surged into the public view following a series of high-profile suicides and a better understanding of how concussions and other head trauma can affect a person.
Kramer, 50, played for the Falcons in 1987, the Lions from 1991-1993, the Bears from 1994-1998 and the Chargers in 1999. In 83 games (67 starts), he was 31-36 with a 57.3 completion percentage, 92 touchdowns and 79 interceptions. He made the playoffs twice with the Lions and once with the Bears, going 1-2 in four games (three starts) and throwing six touchdowns and three interceptions.