A tragic death in the sports world reverberated all the way to the Trump family this week.
On September 4, Jason Hairston, a former pro football player and personal friend of Donald Trump, Jr., took his own life at age of 47.
In response, Don Jr. sent out a very heartfelt post on Instagram letting the world know how much his friendship meant to him.
View this post on Instagram
Jason, I have no words. I will always remember our adventures and sharing a campfire with you. They will be some of my fondest experiences in the outdoors. You were and will continue to be an inspiration to all outdoorsmen and women for generations to come. Thanks for the friendship and the memories buddy. I’m going to miss you. R.I.P @kuiu_official
Ties to Trump
Trump Jr. and Hairston were apparently hunting buddies for quite some time.
In fact, the two had just gone on a hunting trip only days before Hairston took his own life.
Donald Trump, Jr.’s social media pages are littered with photos from trips the two shared.
After Trump made the post, dozens of other individuals who had gone hunting with or had some type of interaction with Hairston also started to post their condolences.
It is obvious this man had touched the lives of dozens, if not hundreds, of people.
CTE and Suicide
Sadly, Hairston seems to be a victim of CTE, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.
This is a condition common among former NFL players, especially those that played prior the current focus on preventing head trauma.
For those of you that do not follow football, Hairston was a star player for the University of California, Davis, before suffering a horrific injury.
Hairston broke his neck in a playoff game, injuring both the C5 and C6 vertebrae.
After college, he played professionally for both the 49ers and the Broncos.
While he found success in his post-sports career, founding the hunting gear company KUIU, Hairston recognized he was suffering from some mental challenges.
Then, in 2016, he suspected he had CTE, as he was showing many of the symptoms associated with the condition.
Since the condition can only be diagnosed after death, we will not truly know if he had this condition until after his autopsy is completed.
It is worth noting, however, some of the NFL players with this condition have attempted to take their own lives.
Sadly, Hairston is a member of the former, as his company KUIU, confirmed he committed suicide on its social media pages.