NFL: Hernandez's brain disease doesn't make him the victim

BOSTON — The NFL says Aaron Hernandez’s degenerative brain disease shouldn’t make him a victim and the league plans to fight his family’s lawsuit vigorously.

Less than 24 hours after Jose Baez announced former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez suffered from a severe case of a Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and filed a lawsuit against the NFL, the attorney continued his attack on the league.

Baez appeared on ESPN Friday morning to further explain the claims made in the lawsuit.

“It's not just the games, it's the practice. It's the routine. The repetitive hits to the head that ultimately cause this disease,” he told SportsCenter. “So they're knee deep in it, I don't know how they'll be able to make that argument that they're not.”

But now the NFL is firing back.

League Spokesperson Joe Lockhart responded to several sports publications stating Herdnandez's CTE diagnosis shouldn't make him the victim.

“His personal story is complex, it doesn't lend itself to simple answers. He was convicted of a homicide and his well-documented behavioral issues began long before he played in the National Football League,” Lockhart said. “The real victims are the friends and family of those he killed, along with his young daughter."

At Gillette Stadium Friday, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick was asked what steps he takes to inform his players of the dangers of brain injuries when they join the team.

“Our medical department and medical staff covers -- we cover a lot of things on the medical end,” he said. “Not just one specific thing, we cover a lot."

Baez says his research isn't over. He says the next step is to learn more, not only on the behalf of the Hernandez family, but for all NFL players.

“See what the NFL knew, see what the New England Patriots knew, and see what we can do to make it, make this game a safer game for players and especially for kids,” said Baez.

He also says depending on what additional information his team learns, he hasn't ruled out the possibility of including the NCAA and the Florida Gators in the lawsuit.

MORE: Attorney suing NFL, Patriots over Hernandez's 'severe' case of CTE