NFL Hall of Famer Warren Sapp will donate brain to science when he dies

Former NFL defensive tackle Warren Sapp plans to donate his brain to science after his death, he revealed to The Players' Tribune on Tuesday.

Concussions have been a hot-button topic in the football community for the past several years. Sapp, a Super Bowl champion and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, cited fellow Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti as one of the inspirations for his decision.

SEE ALSO: Gisele Bundchen reveals Tom Brady 'has concussions pretty much every year'

"His brain -- and his body -- are starting to fail him," Sapp said of Buoniconti.

"I've also started to feel the effects of the hits that I took in my career. My memory ain't what it used to be."

Sapp retired from the game in 2008, leaving behind an incredible legacy including seven Pro Bowl appearances and a Defensive Player of the Year honor in 2000.

"I wanted this game to be better when I left than when I got into it," the 44 year old said. "That's the reason I'm donating my brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation."

According to the foundation, the brains of 95 former NFL players have been studied, and 91 of them were diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encepalopathy -- commonly referred to as CTE. Unfortunately, CTE can only be definitively diagnosed by studying brain tissue after the person's death.

Notable cases of CTE include former players Junior Seau, Frank Gifford and Jovan Belcher.

8 PHOTOS
Prominent cases of NFL players with CTE
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Prominent cases of NFL players with CTE
PITTSBURGH, PA - CIRCA 1987: Mike Webster #52 of Pittsburgh Steelers looks on during a game circa 1987 at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Webster played for the Steelers from 1974-88. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Sporting News via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 19: Quarterback Earl Morrall #15 of the Miami Dolphins looks on from the sidelines against the New York Jets during an NFL football game at The Orange Bowl November 19, 1972 in Miami, Florida. Morrall played for the Dolphins from 1972-76. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
3 NOV 2002: San Diego Chargers Junior Seau during a game against the New York Jets at the Qualcomm Stadium Sunday November 3, 2002, in San Diego, CA. (Photo by Matt A. Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 25: Inside linebacker Jovan Belcher #59 of the Kansas City Chiefs wathces from the sideliens during his final game against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium on November 25, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
25 Oct 1998: Defensive tackle Shane Dronett #75 of the Atlanta Falcons in action during the game against the New York Jets at the Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Falcons 28-3. Mandatory Credit: Todd Warshaw /Allsport
1985: Dave Duerson #22 of the Chicago Bears looks on during a game in the 1985 season. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - CIRCA 1950s: Frank Gifford provides the classic throwing motion in his University of Southern California Trojans uniform. Following his college days, Gifford went on to star for the NFL's New York Giants, then worked as a broadcaster for CBS and ABC's Monday Night Football. (University of Southern California/Collegiate Images via Getty Images)
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