NFL players promise brains to concussion research

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BOSTON -- Three active NFL players are joining former players in agreeing to donate their brains after death to a Boston University medical school program that studies sports brain injuries.

The donations by Matt Birk of the Baltimore Ravens, Lofa Tatupu of the Seattle Seahawks and Sean Morey of the Arizona Cardinals were announced Monday. Morey says his donation will help improve the safety of retired and future athletes.

The players' brains and spinal cord tissue will go to the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy so researchers can better understand the effects of concussions. More than 150 former athletes, including 40 retired NFL players, are already in the program's brain donation registry.

The center was created in 2008 as a collaborative venture between BU and Sports Legacy Institute.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)