‘NFL wives’ code of silence’? Rose Stabler, ex-wife of QB Ken Stabler, speaks out

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FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WGNO) –  Rose Stabler, former New Orleans TV personality and ex-wife of former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler, is suing the NFL.

Stabler says her husband sustained the brain disease known as CTE because of repeated concussions on the field.  At a news conference to announce the lawsuit last week, Stabler accused the NFL of using her husband and other players as “gladiators,” and she said she hoped that other wives would come forward to break the “NFL wives’ code of silence” about their husbands’ injuries.

Ken Stabler’s glory days were in the 1970s when he was the quarterback of the Oakland Raiders.   He led the Raiders to their first Super Bowl victory in 1977.   He later played two seasons with the Houston Oilers, and ended his career after three seasons with the New Orleans Saints.

Rose Stabler was a weathercaster for WDSU-TV in New Orleans in the 1990s, and worked briefly at WGNO-TV before Hurricane Katrina.

Ken Stabler died last year of cancer, but an autopsy revealed that he had CTE. Rose Stabler said her husband suffered from mood swings and other mental health issues.  At the news conference she acknowledged that the couple had separated  ten years before his death, and they divorced in 2009.   She says she would never have left him if she had known he was suffering from the effects of traumatic brain injury.

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