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Cris Carter: “I can’t blame the NFL for every issue that every former player has”

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During the first installment in a five-part series of ESPN’s Outside The Lines, former NFL receiver Cris Carter made a point that will continue to echo through the months and years in which the concussion litigation unfolds.

“I can’t blame the NFL for every issue that every former player in the NFL has,” Carter said.

That’s the challenge, ultimately.  If liability exists for concealing evidence regarding concussion risks or failing to take steps to protect players, it’s important that only those players whose circumstances trace to injuries associated with that liability share in the settlement or verdict.

It’s highly unlikely that Carter will ever join the growing throng of concussions plaintiffs.  He says he may have had one concussion, and that, for the most part, “I was trying to avoid contact.”

Carter also repeated something that applies to former and current players:  “I signed up to be in the NFL.  It wasn’t like someone had to force me.  I kinda knew what I was signing up for.”

And he tried to sign up for it even before he was old enough to do it.

“I doctored up my birth certificate when I was seven years old.  They told me to come back in a year,” Carter said.  “I was born to play the game.  A lot of us were born to play the game.  Make the game safer, because there’s a lot of other kids who are born to play the game, also.”

I probably have agreed with Carter as many times as Carter has had concussions, but I agree with everything he said today.  If you do, or if you don’t, sound off in the comments.

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29 Responses to “Cris Carter: “I can’t blame the NFL for every issue that every former player has””
  1. nickster31 says: May 7, 2012 3:32 PM

    AMEN!!!!

    It’s about time. Someone willing to take responsibility for his own actions.

    That alone should make him a Hall of Fame player, in my mind!

  2. marvsleezy says: May 7, 2012 3:34 PM

    Why cant they just wear larger helmets? I mean really large stupid looking helmets?

    At least they could still play at top speed, but would be able to avoid head injuries.

    Im not joking.

  3. larrydavidstern says: May 7, 2012 3:36 PM

    This whole B.S. concussion lawsuit thing is ridiculous. Same thing as people suing Mcdonald’s for making them fat. You know what you’re signing up for. High risk, high reward!

  4. snarkchariot says: May 7, 2012 3:36 PM

    @Florio: Are you capable of writing a post about anything or anyone related to the Vikings without making a dickish comment?

  5. 123makarov says: May 7, 2012 3:38 PM

    Easy way to eliminate more than half of concussions :

    Get rid of the full face mask that helps players feel invulnerable and go back to the single chin bar. Some coaches have been saying this for over 20 years.

  6. jimpt52 says: May 7, 2012 3:42 PM

    sounds about right to me. they knew the problems long before they joyned the nfl. college etc.

  7. schmitty2 says: May 7, 2012 3:46 PM

    Wow, Chris finally said something intelligent. BRAVO!!!!!

  8. broncobrewer says: May 7, 2012 3:46 PM

    For once I agree with him. Since this lawsuit started I’ve been hoping one of the retired players would stand up and say something like this. No I hope the judge does the same thing.

  9. surly1n1nd1anapol1s says: May 7, 2012 3:48 PM

    But will he blame NFL teams for some of their responsibility?

  10. thankheavenfornumberseven says: May 7, 2012 3:49 PM

    Obama’s birth certificate looks like it was doctored up by a 7-year old too.

  11. tombradysponytail says: May 7, 2012 3:57 PM

    marvsleezy says:May 7, 2012 3:34 PM

    Why cant they just wear larger helmets? I mean really large stupid looking helmets?

    At least they could still play at top speed, but would be able to avoid head injuries.

    Im not joking.
    ——–

    Danny Woodhead does it, why can’t the rest of them?

  12. jefftownsend52 says: May 7, 2012 4:00 PM

    If concussion’s are such a big issue then why don’t we ever hear about any backlash from former NHL players? There are arguably more concussions in that sport and they play about 5 times more games per year.

  13. bpfpft says: May 7, 2012 4:09 PM

    There is no doubt there is something going on with these former players but in the end the it could be that the main cause of CTE is not concussions or trauma but steroid use. Plenty of “normal” people have had concussions, not just football, hockey players, boxers, jockeys or athletes in general. Wouldn’t the doctors doing these studies find CTE in brains of regular people? Neuropathologist Peter Davies of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine is following this link.

  14. jackericsson says: May 7, 2012 4:09 PM

    Unless players can prove team doctors were covering up long term affects of concussions, they don’t have a case. It is only recently that studies are showing these issues. In fact, it is still being debated. Since the NFL became aware of this, they are now reacting to it. If your concussion is prior to the last couple years, you don’t have a case. What’s next? Sue the NFL because you now have arthritic knees?

  15. stellarperformance says: May 7, 2012 4:11 PM

    thankheavenfornumberseven says:
    May 7, 2012 3:49 PM
    Obama’s birth certificate looks like it was doctored up by a 7-year old too.
    ===============================

    Giving the right to vote to idiot Teabaggers like you make me want to puke.

  16. rams1999 says: May 7, 2012 4:12 PM

    OKay. I decided to do drugs all my life. Now its time to sue my drug dealer because it affected my brain somehow. What a great country!

  17. frankrizzo51 says: May 7, 2012 4:23 PM

    jefftownsend52 says: May 7, 2012 4:00 PM

    If concussion’s are such a big issue then why don’t we ever hear about any backlash from former NHL players? There are arguably more concussions in that sport and they play about 5 times more games per year.

    _____________________________
    Excellent point. Plus the game is played faster on a more unforgiving surface with a solid barrier around the playing surface.

  18. franklamar17 says: May 7, 2012 4:27 PM

    Thanks Chris ,I think the players that seem to be having the most problems are the ones that are not doing to good financially ,so it’s more than just football.i think it’s just mental from being on top and now it’s all gone,and it makes it harder to cope

  19. spawn201 says: May 7, 2012 4:30 PM

    It goes both ways. The players certainly do know that football is a dangerous game. They know that they are one play away from a career ending injury. Every time that they step onto the field. However the NFL also does have the responsibility to take care of its employee’s. I dont know if they do already but having some kind of transition program for retirees . Would be a good idea

  20. danielcp0303 says: May 7, 2012 4:34 PM

    It’s a tough topic to tackle. It’s an unsafe game that comes with a lot of perks. I think the growing sentiment from ex players comes from the unwillingness to help those former players, in any way possible. A lot of past players are having a lot of trouble both physically and mentally, there needs to be a solution to help them out. It’s up to the player to decide if it’s worth the risk, but it’s also up to the league and players union to help the guys that lose big in their lives. Drowning all of your money and being irresponsible is one thing, but not being able to take care of problems caused by football is another. Less fighting about it, more solutions

  21. cobrala2 says: May 7, 2012 5:05 PM

    First time I’ve ever agreed with Cris Carter as well.

    It is very easy for us fans to neglect the possibility that the NFL has concealed information from the players association, BUT EVEN IF THEY DID the players are dumber than I had ever imagined if they never contemplated the ramifications of playing professional football.

    Anyone feel like Mohammed Ali was ‘screwed’ somehow? Me neither.

  22. realpantherfan says: May 7, 2012 5:09 PM

    danielcp0303 says:
    May 7, 2012 4:34 PM
    It’s a tough topic to tackle. It’s an unsafe game that comes with a lot of perks. I think the growing sentiment from ex players comes from the unwillingness to help those former players, in any way possible. A lot of past players are having a lot of trouble both physically and mentally, there needs to be a solution to help them out. It’s up to the player to decide if it’s worth the risk, but it’s also up to the league and players union to help the guys that lose big in their lives. Drowning all of your money and being irresponsible is one thing, but not being able to take care of problems caused by football is another. Less fighting about it, more solutions

    ——————————————
    the problem here is i can put so many programs into place for you. its like tutoring in college for those kids that dont make the grade. you have to want to do it for yourself. and the thing is when these players are up and on top will they really look into it? probably not because most of them will think “I DONT NEED THAT”
    good point and logic,. but you hear about it so much. you stop and think how is derek coleman/antoine walker/warren sapp so broke.
    if you make so much money how much did you really put away for after you cant play anymore. and whats the bottom line of how long you will be able to play? these questions are less likely asked then the “can you learn this play?”

  23. rams1999 says: May 7, 2012 5:19 PM

    Maybe the hits affected their brains so much to the point that they don’t remember or realize that they volunteered to play the game for millions.. Maybe with their current brainless condition, they thought they were forced to play football therefore explaining the reason they are suing. ……….that is the best excuse i can come up with as to why they would sue when only an idiot would play pro football and think it wont affect them later in life…..Keep in mind i’m trying to think like an idiot here.

  24. backindasaddle says: May 7, 2012 7:23 PM

    Wow… Chris Carter actually said something that made sense. Then again…. even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  25. henryandrewm says: May 7, 2012 8:20 PM

    In professional boxing, what is the last thing that the referee says to the fighters? “Protect yourself at all times.”

    There is no such thing as a defenseless player, if he is not concerned with his safety, why should we?

  26. beeronthefridge says: May 7, 2012 8:52 PM

    You have to ask, how many more deaths can NFL fans take?

    The bone-shattering truth is that NFL football is no different from Roman Coliseum days.

    It is barbaric. We don’t want this anymore in America.

  27. rowdymf says: May 7, 2012 9:25 PM

    There certainly are a lot of ignorant comments coming from the feeble minded sheep on this subject. CC is correct that not every issue from every former player is the fault of the NFL. Not every former player earned $1m paydays or blew their earnings. Obviously the NFL recognizes that there is a problem, hence the legislating the big hits from the game. It is the NFL’s responsibility to provide a safe working environment for ALL of it’s employees! Is it the miner’s fault that he chose a profession that exposes him to getting soot in his lungs while mining coal or is it the company’s job to protect him by providing proper equipment to do his job. Is it the firemans/policemans fault that they are wounded in the line of duty or is it the departments responsibility to provide them with the best equipment to prevent getting burned, inhaling smoke or getting shot. How many of you would sue your childs school system if your child were injured in an accident on a school bus that had no seatbelts although you put your child on that bus every single day? How many of you would sue your employer if you incurred some ailment(carpal tunnel, cancer if there was asbestos in the building, developed eye problems/migraines from staring at a computer screen for hours daily, etc) from going into the office everyday although you chose your profession? I’m sure all of you hypocrites will surface shortly!!! I’m waiting!!!

  28. jessethegreat says: May 8, 2012 1:41 AM

    I never played college or pro ball, but I played High School football. I’d bet I had a concussion or two then…. anyone else want to get in on my lawsuit against national high school athletics?

  29. nickster31 says: May 8, 2012 3:47 AM

    It is called being responsible for yourself.

    Firemen know, every day they go to work, they may lose their lives. Police Officers know, every day they go to work, they may lose their lives.

    Coal miners KNOW what they are getting into when they sign up for their job.

    And EVERY NFL player knows the risks he is facing every time he gets on the field.

    The NFL is doing all they can to make the game safe, some of us believe they are doing too much, and hurting the game.

    If I worked in a building that had asbestos, and it caused cancer, then YES, I would sue my employer. If, on the other hand, I knew there was asbestos in the building when I started working there, and knew it could cause cancer, but still CHOSE to work there, then the responsibility falls on MY shoulders.

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