Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White has come under fire recently for this tweet:
Does Roddy White have a point? The short answer is no. Anyone one who has seen the effects that the game has had on its veterans would never say something like this. Jamal Lewis was on ESPN the other day and forgot in mid-sentence what he was talking about. The only word that can be used to describe something like that is the word haunting. Many of the brains donated by players for research consistently show signs of advanced deterioration.
The longer answer is that while Roddy White my be misguided in his analysis he is at least contributing to conversation that needs to be had. The things that are coming to light about head injuries on athletes, not just football players, and how it affects them later in life is a discourse that needs to be had. Especially in the aftermath of Junior Seau’s death which may or may not have stemmed from similar causes.
The players who are suing the league have every right to. They were brought through a system that encouraged one dangerous mantra: “Stay on the field.” Every player has heard this. Even though the league has been trying to make the game safer for years this kind of thinking hadn’t been discouraged until recently and the result of that is broken men who damaged themselves playing a game for our entertainment. These players that are suing are not ruining anything. They’re trying to fix it.