Professional wrestling has always dealt with its share of controversy. But there has likely never bigger a darker mark on the history of professional wrestling than what happened to Chris Benoit and his family.
Former WWE superstar ‘nWo' Sting, a.k.a. Jeff Farmer, recently spoke on Sportskeeda’s UnSKripted podcast with Dr. Chris Featherstone. They discussed a range of topics, but the one that stood out was the impressions he left on the Benoit story. Rajah.com writer David Draiman captured his shocking thoughts.
“In my opinion, what I think happened to Chris Benoit, and nobody’s really asked me about this that much, but I think he had some CTE from all the bumps he took. He used to do the diving head butt all the time, and I think there was some possible brain damage from the business.”
He went on to talk about how we have seen similar issues in other sports.
“You see it in football, you see it in all these places, and these guys, they become different… They change. Their personality changes. They try to kill themselves. We’ve seen it in sports… Maybe that’s me trying to rationalize, but I think it was some type of brain damage from his career in wrestling. I always got along very well with Chris. He was a good guy to me.”
Farmer is likely referring to athletes like Aaron Hernandez and Rae Carruth. But Chris Benoit's case is the only one where the offender killed his own family. He murdered his wife, Nancy, tying her hands and feet before suffocating her. He then suffocated his seven-year-old son, Daniel, before hanging himself.
Benoit was known to be struggling with alcohol, was using steroids and yes, very well might have suffered CTE. But rationalizing what Benoit did should never be acceptable. That's to normalize it. Instead, as a society we should be working to stop it from happening again.