Former NFL star, hunter, and member of the Trump administration, Jason Hairston, has tragically died at 47. Learn more about father of two here.
We’re sad to report that Jason Hairston, a former star player for the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos, has passed away the too-young age of 47. His cause of death has not yet been reported. Jason is survived by his wife, Kirstyn, and his two young children, a son and daughter. He had just returned from a hunting trip to Canada with good friend Donald Trump Jr. before his death; the two events are not connected.
1. He had a short, but memorable career in the NFL. After playing for the UC Davis Aggies in college, Jason was signed to the San Francisco 49ers in 1995. After a year with the team, he transferred to the Denver Broncos and retired from the league in 1996.
2. After leaving the NFL, he started a hunting gear company. Post-NFL, Jason first became a commercial real estate agent, then went on to found the hunting gear company Sitka in 2005; he sold Sitka to Gore-Tex in 2009. He founded hunting apparel company Kuiu in 2010. It’s now worth $50 million.
3. He was close friends with Donald Trump Jr. The two men bonded over their love of hunting after Jason founded his hunting company. They had been hunting sheep in Canada just days before Jason’s untimely death. Don Jr. posted a tribute to his fallen friend on Instagram following the news:
“Jason, I have no words. I will always remember our adventures and sharing a campfire with you. They will be some of my fondest experiences in the outdoors. You were and will continue to be an inspiration to all outdoorsmen and women for generations to come. Thanks for the friendship and the memories buddy. I’m going to miss you. R.I.P.”
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Jason, I have no words. I will always remember our adventures and sharing a campfire with you. They will be some of my fondest experiences in the outdoors. You were and will continue to be an inspiration to all outdoorsmen and women for generations to come. Thanks for the friendship and the memories buddy. I’m going to miss you. R.I.P @kuiu_official
A post shared by Donald Trump Jr. (@donaldjtrumpjr) on
4. He worked for the Department of the Interior. His friend, Don Jr., actually hooked him up with a gig in the federal government. Jason worked at the Department of the Interior, where he served as a liaison between former head Ryan Zinke and sportsmen’s groups.
5. His death may have been caused by CTE. His official cause of death has not been made public, but Jason himself said in the past that he believed he had CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) from his days in the NFL. The only way to diagnose CTE, though, is in an autopsy. “I played linebacker, and the way I played the game, I led with my head. I played the way they tell us not to play now. I have all the symptoms of CTE,” he said in a 2016 interview.