Ray Easterling was an American football safety in the National Football League. He graduated from the University of Richmond in 1972 and was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the ninth round of the 1972 NFL Draft.
Ray Easterling played 8 seasons for the Atlanta Falcons as a free safety, strong safety and occasional kickoff returner. He retired after the 1979 season, having appeared in 83 games and recording 13 interceptions and 6 fumble recoveries.
In 2011, along with several other NFL players, including two-time Super Bowl champion Jim McMahon, Easterling filed a federal lawsuit in Philadelphia, against the NFL over its handling of concussion-related injuries. Unlike a similar suit filed in Los Angeles a month earlier, this suit is the first to seek class-action status and potentially include many other players. Attorney Larry E. Coben, representing the plaintiffs, stated, "The big issue, for us, is they were told for decades to lead with their heads. The NFL would never admit that there's any correlation."
Easterling died on April 19, 2012, at the age of 62. His death was ruled a suicide.