NEW YORK — Former New York Jets sack-dancing star Mark Gastineau says he is suffering from several health issues caused from years of playing football.
The 60-year-old Gastineau says during a radio interview Thursday night with Pete McCarthy on 710 WOR Radio in New York that he has been diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
The Jets’ career sacks leader, who was known for his entertaining dances after taking down quarterbacks from 1979-88, believes his conditions are largely related to his aggressive, hard-playing style.
Gastineau was promoting USA Football’s Heads Up Football program, which focuses on making the game safer. The former defensive end says the techniques the program teaches kids now could have helped prevent his health issues.
He adds that he wants his situation to serve as a “warning” to parents, but wouldn’t trade his experiences in the NFL “for anything.”