SBNation had a fascinating article late last week that detailed what the life of some of the larger players in the NFL is about and how once the game ends, it might be just the beginning of a life-long fight with serious health risks associated with players of that size.
The article on SB Nation Longform, written by Jeff Arnold is an eye-opening look inside the life of NFL’s biggest players and the struggles they face after football. Former Jets and Sports Net New York analyst Kris Jenkins (among other players) spoke to Arnold for the article and knows that he is the one in control of his fate at this point.
“Weight-related issues are an issue if you let them be such,” says Jenkins, who now works as a Jets analyst for SportsNet New York. “I don’t believe the NFL is responsible for me taking care of my life as a man.
“I’m not a slave. I know what I signed up for.”
At this point, he says he likes the way he feels at his current weight and he still enjoys eating, leaving him to choose when he will make a more dedicated effort to shed more pounds — when and how he feels like it.
“I am a man, and after football I need to stop stressing myself trying to keep up with a game as a player and keep up with life as a man,” Jenkins says. “Once you play a man’s game, you can’t go back to living like a child.
“I will take care of my weight and the issues that come with it. I will not glorify being a victim.”
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comIt’s a thought-provoking article about an undiscussed problem with the modern NFL. Players have gotten bigger and bigger over the last 30 years and the strain that it can put on a player’s health doesn’t often get discussed. We hope that it is an issue that both the NFL and NFLPA start to consider more seriously and how they can help players who are transitioning out of the league limit their long-term issues since this trend won’t go away. At the same time, it’s incumbent on players like Jenkins to know that their destiny is in their control.