Recently Retired NFL Player Says Concussions Are Still a Problem
Despite multiple studies that show a clear link between concussions and the increased occurrence of long-term brain damage in former NFL players. Despite an estimated $1 billion plan by the NFL to settle thousands of concussion lawsuits. Despite countless horrific incidents of murder and suicide committed by brain damaged retirees. The NFL still hasn’t solved its concussion problem, according to recent retiree and former Detroit Lions star Calvin Johnson.
Johnson, who retired this offseason at the relatively young age of 30 though he put up an 88-catch, 1,214-yard, nine-touchdown season, told ESPN that concussions are a frequent occurrence on the football field and that he experienced his “fair share” of literally brain-rattling hits.
“Concussions happen,” he said. “If not on every play, then they happen like every other, every third play, you know. With all the helmet contact, guys hitting the ground, heads hitting ground … It’s simple to get a concussion, you know. I don’t know how many I’ve had over my career, you know, but I’ve definitely had my fair share.”
Johnson went on to describe a problematic league-wide culture that demands that players play, no matter the risks: “The team doctor, the team trainers, they work for the team … They’re trying to do whatever they can to get you back on the field and make your team look good. So if it’s not gonna make the team look good, or if you’re not gonna be on the field, then they’re tryin’ to do whatever they can to make that happen.”
It’s disturbing enough to see a much-beloved former star NFL player confirm our worst suspicion that most players suffer concussions every few plays. Scientific studies have shown that with each subsequent concussion, the risk of serious or even fatal brain injury grows significantly. But it’s just as alarming to see him say he’s suffered his “fair share” of concussions. Although Johnson has made 78 appearances on the NFL injury report, exactly 0 were attributed to concussions.
This suggests that either Johnson masked his concussions in order to stay on the field or his team hid the injuries. Whichever is the truth, the league’s culture surrounding concussions is hugely problematic and needs to change before more players fall victim to preventable brain damage and death.
American football is a great sport loved by many and hardly anybody’s suggesting that it should be abolished altogether, but the league should, no, MUST stop trying to sweep the concussion issue under the rug and actually take decisive measures to protect their players, whether it’s a rule change, a revised concussion protocol, improved safety equipment, or a combination of all three.
Are you a former professional football player suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI)? You may be entitled to millions of dollars in compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and more. Consult with our team of experienced NFL concussion lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm to receive advice about your rights and best legal options for recovery in a FREE consultation. Our number is (800) 522-7274. Call us today.