Football Hall of Famer Says Football Isn’t Worth Brain Injury Risks

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Harry Carson

Harry Carson has been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his career as a linebacker in the NFL, but this week he told Penn State radio station WPSU he wouldn’t do it again if he knew then what he knows now about the risks of brain injuries.

Carson played for the New York Giants from 1976 to 1988, sustaining numerous concussions along the way. Now, at 60-years-old, he still struggles with symptoms from Post Concussion Syndrome, which he was diagnosed with in 1990. Even before his career came to an end, Carson started experiencing blurred vision, depression, and headaches.

“For me, knowing what I know, I would not have played the game,” Carson said. “And I’m firm with that. I don’t say that to get headlines or anything like that, but any, and this is just me, any smart person who can see that there was something that created a problem for you later in life, would you do it all over again? It really is not worth it to me.”

The former player also emphasized that there is an enormous pressure on players to continue playing through injuries of all types. He explained, “players want to play and they also know that once they’ve been diagnosed that’s like the opening salvo to okay, you’re damaged property, when the off-season comes we’re going to have to find someone else who has not been damaged.”

While he can’t change the past, Carson says he is “110 percent certain” his grandson will not be following in his football footsteps. “I certainly would rather my grandson excel academically than athletically,” he said.

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