Leave it to the supermodel wife of the most successful player in the history of the sport to cause a stir, but that is just what has happened recently since the wife of Tom Brady said that he suffered a concussion at some point during last season, a sentiment that forced the issuance of a denial of sorts from his agent, while leaving wiggle room for the possible truth.
As I wrote about yesterday, former Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson talked about it after it was brought up while he was hosting his football camp, during which he tries to stress to his players the importance of taking concussions seriously. Johnson acknowledged that he has not reported concussions before.
So has Drew Brees. He even told Peter King that he did not believe that he would self-report a concussion.
And Ben Roethlisberger told King that, in the past, he would not have as well. But that has changed later in his career, and in his life. He somewhat famously self-reported concussion symptoms during a late-season game in Seattle during the 2015 season, which resulted in him being pulled late in a loss in a game that was still competitive.
“With three minutes left in a 39-30 loss, Roethlisberger complained of issues with his peripheral vision, and he was removed from the game and went for a locker-room exam” King wrote. And he recently discussed that incident with the quarterback on his podcast.
“I’m proud of it”, Roethlisberger told King when he was asked about having self-reported his concussion symptoms. “I have been just like Drew where I haven’t reported things before either. Probably everybody who has ever played the game of football hasn’t reported an injury”. But head injuries, he says, he sees differently now in his later years.
“For me it wasn’t about an injury—I’ve played through many injuries—but when you talk about your head, that is a different ball game”, he said on King’s podcast. “You can replace a lot of body parts, but you can’t replace a brain. You see the effects of it from past players, players who have taken their lives, the CTE, all that stuff and, you know, I’m thinking about my family and long term”.
Steelers fans, of course, are well aware of that these days, after Roethlisberger evidently seriously contemplated retirement. He will be taking the remainder of his career on a season-by-season basis, which will no doubt be a source of annual strife until he actually retires.
“I love this game and I love my brothers that I play football with”, he said, and because of his love for the game and for those who play it, he said, “I would encourage any player who has an issue with their brain to just report it properly”
“We are blessed to play this game”, he continued, “but we also have a life to live”. And he knows that brain trauma can take away a lot of that life left remaining to players after they retire.