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Junior Siavii, ex-Chiefs and Cowboys player, found dead in prison while awaiting trial

junior siavii, cowboys, chiefs

Former NFL defensive lineman Junior Siavii died in prison on Thursday, although the cause of death for the 43-year-old has not yet been released. Siavii was in federal prison at Leavenworth while he awaited trial on federal drug trafficking charges. The former Kansas City Chiefs draft pick and University of Oregon standout was originally arrested over two years ago for being part of a criminal methamphetamine organization.

Siavii was a second-round pick of the Chiefs in the 2004 NFL draft but knee and spinal injuries forced him out of football before he could get to a ten-year pension. Siavii also played for the Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks in his short career. Hopefully, his family will donate his brain to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) research because, regardless of the cause of his death, his life was clearly marred by bad decisions.

Unfortunately, CTE can only be diagnosed posthumously because it can only be found during an autopsy. The degenerative brain disease is caused by repeated blows to the head and has been found in hundreds of contact sport athletes and military personnel. Signs and symptoms of CTE include difficulties with thinking and emotions, although it can be hard to notice because it can take from one blow to multiple years of them to even decades of head trauma before the symptoms can start. We will update you with the cause of death when it is announced, but for now, our thoughts are with the Siavii family as they grieve the loss of their loved one.