Kenneth Michael “Ken” Stabler (December 25, 1945 – July 8, 2015), nicknamed “Snake,” was an American football quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Oakland Raiders (1970–1979), Houston Oilers (1980–1981) and New Orleans Saints (1982–1984). He played college football for the University of Alabama.Stabler was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.
Stabler died of colon cancer on July 8, 2015, at the age of 69. He had been diagnosed with the disease since February 2015. In February 2016, the New York Times reported that researchers at Boston University discovered high Stage 3 chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in Stabler’sbrain after his death. Dr. Ann McKee of Boston University told The Associated Press that the disease was widespread throughout his brain, with “quite severe” damage to the regions involving learning, memory and regulation of emotion.
In 2015, the XOXO Stabler Foundation a 501c(3) nonprofit founded by former NFL quarterback Ken Stabler took up a cause that directly affected the foundation’s chairman: sports-related brain trauma.
The foundation’s new initiative XOXO Game Plan for Change is focused on changing the course and culture of contact sports to increase sports safety and reduce brain trauma in athletes. To facilitate change, the XOXO Stabler Foundation funds research on related brain diseases, methods of treatment and prevention, and educational outreach.