Chris Borland appeared destined for stardom, but the San Francisco 49ers linebacker walked away from the NFL following his rookie season in 2014, out of concern about traumatic brain injuries like chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.
Borland, who is a presenter this week at the Conference on World Affairs at the University of Colorado Boulder, says his divorce from football is so complete that he no longer watches the game, even on television.
His family history was another factor in his decision.
"Who thinks 50 years into the future? But a goal for me is growing old and being a grandfather," Borland said. "I never had one, my kids likely won’t have one on my side ... it’s something I want, to break the cycle of Borland men dying young."
Borland and Dr. Sourav Poddar spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner. Poddar is the medical director for CU athletics. He also directs the school's Primary Care Sports Medicine program.