Aspiring 49ers linebacker-turned-CEO of hunting apparel giant dies at 47

Jason Hairston, who aspired to a pro football career before founding KUIU, a successful hunting apparel company, died this week, according to the Daily Mail and TMZ Sports.

Details of Hairston’s death are unclear. Hairston, 47 when he died, had just returned from a hunting trip to Canada with his friend Donald Trump Jr., per the Daily Mail.

Jason Hairston during his 49ers playing days. (Courtesy of KUIU) 

Hairston, who grew up in Orange County, played linebacker in high school and at UC-Davis. He signed contracts with the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos in the mid-1990s, but never played in a regular season game. He believed that he suffered brain damage due to his football career.

“I played linebacker, and the way I played the game, I led with my head,” he said in a 2016 interview, according to the Daily Mail. “I played the way they tell us not to play now. I have all the symptoms of CTE.” In addition, according to his bio on KUIU’s website, Hairston sustained a severe neck injury during his junior season of college, “hard enough to break my C5 and C6 vertebrae, each in seven different places.” Hairston cited ongoing neck issues as the reason he retired from football.

KUIU, based in Dixon, reportedly is

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