Michael Silver of GQ Magazine took on the concussion issue in a recent article, getting comments from six different players. Because I do not want to rip off his great work, I will only be showing some of the highlight quotes. Silver did a great job of offering different points of view on this issue. As we have stated here, it’s not the injury, especially with the professional players, that is a risk of their profession. Rather it is how we are handling the management of the injury that needs to be nailed down, both short-term and long-term.
Everyone should read this quick and informational piece HERE and comment away on the blog.
Scott Fujita (recently very outspoken on this issue);
All of us inherently like contact. But when an episode of Real Sports shows one of our predecessors lying in bed, speaking to his incredible wife through his eyelids and a computer, it rips our hearts out.
When you’re 21 years old, single, and full of piss and vinegar, you think, “Nothing’s going to happen to me.” Back then I’d have cut off my arm just to play. My view at the time was, if playing for ten years in the league meant I had to walk around with a limp, that’d be a good tradeoff. Now I’m 34 and I have five kids, and my perspective’s changed. A limp is one thing, but if you’re talking about brain trauma, that’s a whole lot scarier.
Hines Ward (very outspoken);
If a guy’s contract is coming up and he gets his bell rung—and if he has a concussion, he’ll have to leave the game and maybe miss another one—trust me, he ain’t tellin’ nobody. Look at [49ers running back] Brian Westbrook. He was an elite player who had concussion issues, and he struggled to find work after the Eagles cut him. Guys saw that.
There was no three-seconds until Wilt Chamberlain played and they had to react to his dominance. In hockey, they had to create the blue line, because guys were cherry-picking. Every sport has rules that they change to make the game more competitive and to protect athletes—and guys adapt, and the game goes on.
I believe we are seeing more NFL players starting to understand the issues of long-term health and head injuries, however this has placed them in an uncomfortable position in regards to how they make their money. I can completely empathize with them on perplexing decisions that seem to counteract their purpose in life. The good news is that there is a happy medium, but the bad news is that we have yet to find that.