As the football world closes a fantastic college season and prepares for National Signing Day, we also look forward to the Super Bowl.
But before those early February signature events, HBO’s “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel” has a serious issue piece on football this week featuring the sad story of an Alabama alum that should be well-worth watching.
The award-winning and usually fantastic series spent about six years with Kevin Turner and his family as the former NFL fullback saw his health decline from football injuries until his death last March from ALS.
Here’s the trailer for the feature:
It’s a heartbreaking watch, as Turner talks about days he wanted to die as there is no cure for ALS. The deterioration of a patient is especially difficult during the progression of the horrible disease.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, Turner’s teammate at Alabama, is also featured in the trailer.
Turner’s story, featuring his parents, was featured by the New York Times on Sunday. Myra and Raymond Turner are candid in the article about the difficulty watching football now, knowing that it took their son’s life.
“I know a lot of people are going to say, ‘How do you watch football knowing football had taken your son’s own life?'” Raymond Turner said in the article. “But it’s hard to explain, really. It’s just all so hard to explain.”
After Turner’s death, researchers in Boston determined his brain was “riddled” with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or “CTE,” which was caused from repeated blows to the head.
Turner, from Prattville, Ala., was a third-round pick out of Alabama in 1992 and played eight seasons in the NFL: three for the New England Patriots and five for the Philadelphia Eagles. His son, Nolan, is a freshman safety at Clemson.
Kevin Turner died on March 24, 2016.
The HBO show has its season premiere at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Tuesday.