Earlier this week, The Record’s Jeff Roberts had an eye-opening article about the long-term effects that playing pro football has had on a number of former Jets and Giants.
Here’s one quote from the Record article from former Jet Bruce Harper who has a host of medical problems now about the ongoing lawsuit that former players have filed with the league.
“Right now, even thinking about [concussions], I could just cry,” said Harper, a Jets receiver, back and returner from 1977 to 1984. “I’m not kidding you. I could cry right now very, very easily….
“And the sad thing is, I think they’re just going to string this out until most of us die. In my health, I’m not going to live long.”
Brian Bassett, theJetsBlog.com
One of the things that De Smith, the head of the NFL Players Association often says is that what happens on the football field are not accidents (like crashing a forklift) but certain outcomes (Ray Lewis tackling you). Players are bound to get injured and there’s a 100% injury rate on all players.
With that in mind, it’s become quite clear that the league hasn’t done enough from a medical perspective, and it’s argued that they might have even concealed information that they had to forestall the problem. Since the topic of brain and other injuries starting gaining momentum, this has been one of the toughest things for us to personally reconcile. We love the sport, we love the fandom, we love the players but it’s tragic to hear these stories about what former players have to deal with on a daily basis. For that reason we’re very glad that the Players Association has started taking such a hard stance on medical compensation and injuries to players and that current players see that this is a problem that they will have to face some day. We hope that the retired players can get the care that they need and that the league takes all the steps possible to help them along the way.