Former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien facing assault charges

Rypien announced last year he believes he has Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, caused by repeated concussions while playing in the NFL.
Image: Mark Rypien of the Washington Redskins during Super Bowl XXVI against the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 26, 1992.
Mark Rypien of the Washington Redskins during Super Bowl XXVI against the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 26, 1992.Mike Powell / Getty Images file

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By Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. — Former Super Bowl hero Mark Rypien has been arrested in Washington state on suspicion of domestic violence against his wife.

NBC affiliate KHQ reported that Rypien, 56, pleaded not guilty Monday to a charge of fourth-degree assault.

Rypien was taken to the Spokane County Jail on Sunday afternoon after his arrest near a bank on the north side of the city.

There was no answer Monday morning at the Spokane offices of the Rypien Foundation, which battles childhood cancer.

Rypien announced last year he believes he has Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, caused by repeated concussions while playing in the NFL. He believes this condition has caused him to have erratic and violent behavior.

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"I've been down the darkest path," Rypien said. "I've made some horrible, horrible mistakes."

Rypien said that in the past he has attempted suicide, hired prostitutes and suffers from persistent depression, anxiety and

He was a lead plaintiff among 4,500 former players who won a settlement related to CTE in 2013.

He was MVP of Super Bowl XXVI after the 1991 season for the Washington Redskins.

The newspaper reported that Spokane police responded to a call on Sunday afternoon, and found Rypien and his wife in a public location near a bank branch. She was evaluated and did not need medical treatment, the newspaper said.

Police said a third party called police.

Rypien was handcuffed and taken to the jail.

In a lengthy interview with the Spokane newspaper last year, Rypien acknowledged that he was also involved in a domestic violence incident with his wife in 2017.

"I got angry and I threw her on the bed a couple of times," Rypien said last year of the 2017 incident. Rypien and his wife blamed a medication change for his behavior.

Rypien was a high-school football quarterback in Spokane who went on to star at nearby Washington State University. He was drafted by the Redskins in 1986 and played in the NFL until 2002.