Love, Zac: “Please Spread My Story”

With college football season kicking into gear this weekend, now is the time to consider the life story of Zac Easter in the moving, thoughtful book, Love, Zac: Small-Town Football and the Life and Death of an American Boy. Available in paperback this Tuesday.

Zac was twenty-four years old when he took his own life rather than continue his losing battle against traumatic brain injuries he had sustained as a high school football player. And his wish was that his struggles with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) could help others understand what they’re experiencing and lead to positive change.

“Please spread my story. Great things can still happen from this event. Think of all the lives that can be saved,” Zac wrote in his diary, one he kept to chronicle CTE’s effects.

Zac’s family shared his diaries with award-winning reporter Reid Forgrave, who weaves together interviews with family, friends, and coaches with Zac’s diary entries to create an unforgettable portrait of one young man’s life, one family’s loss, and a whole country’s complicated relationship with football and masculinity in the twenty-first century.

Love, Zac is personal and moving, powerfully so. It is about football. And it is not about football. It’s about families and communities. About how children—of any age—can hide their symptoms, their true selves, even from attentive, loving parents. About how children do this because they don’t want to disappoint their parents. Because they want to live up to our culture’s expectations.

And Love, Zac gives all of us—parents of football players, parents of any driven athlete, fans of the game, and, well, everyone who reads—a way to come together, to talk, to make great things happen. Just as Zac had hoped we would.

Read more about Love, Zac.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *