Brother says Rashaan Salaam had “all the symptoms” of CTE

Alaji said Salaam showed signs of memory loss and depression. “I guarantee they’d find it (if they examined Salaam’s brain)” Alaji told USA Today. “I would guarantee it.”

Rashaan Salaam, left, was found dead at a Boulder park Monday. He was 42. (Sandie Gohoc/Flickr)
Rashaan Salaam, left, was found dead at a Boulder park Monday. He was 42. (Sandie Gohoc/Flickr)
Rashaan Salaam, left, was found dead at a Boulder park on Dec. 5. He was 42. (Sandie Gohoc/Flickr)

Is it possible that CTE, the brain disease caused by concussions and other repeated head injuries, could have played a part in Rashaan Salaam’s suspected suicide last week?

Jabali Alaji, Salaam’s brother, thinks so. Alaji told USA Today on Sunday that Salaam had “all the symptoms” associated with CTE, which stands for chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Alaji said Salaam showed signs of memory loss and depression. “I guarantee they’d find it (if they examined Salaam’s brain)” Alaji told USA Today. “I would guarantee it.”

CTE can only be diagnosed after death. But according to USA Today, Alaji said Salaam’s brain was not donated for CTE evaluation because of Salaam’s Muslim faith. Islam forbids desecration of the body and says it must be buried.

Salaam, 42, was buried in Boulder on Friday. His body was found at Eben G. Fine Park on Dec. 5.

“When I opened the house, I expected to go into a house of somebody who was on drugs or find alcohol in the trash can,” Alaji said, according to USA Today. “But when I walked into the house and saw how clean the house was, it shocked me. I went through his trash can. I went through hiding spaces expecting to find pill bottles, or bottles of liquor. None of that was there. He didn’t even take Motrin, you know what I mean?”

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Christian Clark

Author: Christian Clark

Christian Clark covers sports. He's worked for outlets that include the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Oklahoman, Columbia Missourian and Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine. He likes music and Mexican food. Lots and lots of Mexican food. Got questions? Tips? You can reach him at cclark@denverite.com.