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Jason Taylor thinks 95 percent of former players would do it again

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Lost in the recent soul-searching regarding whether current and former players would allow their children to play football is whether the current and former players would do it all over again.

Former NFL defensive player of the year Jason Taylor believes that, for 95 percent of all former players, the answer would be, “Yes.”

That’s what Taylor told Joe Rose of WQAM in Miami earlier this morning, as part of a wide-ranging and thought-provoking appearance.

If anything, Taylor’s number may be low.

Taylor’s comments come at a time when guard Jacob Bell walked away from the sport after eight years, due in part to concerns regarding head injuries.  “It’s a blessing to be able to retire and walk away on my own instead of being forced out of it,” Bell recently told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.  “Think about what the guys are going through.  Everybody wants to make the money, but what are you really sacrificing?  If they tell you we’re going to take your brain and whack it with a baseball bat, but we’ll give you a couple million bucks, how many people would really do that? . . .  I compare us to modern-day gladiators.  We’re giving our lives to the game of football for a price.”

Bell’s point is a great one — but the real question is whether he’d do it again.  It’s one thing to walk away after reaching the one-year-veteran-minimum stage of a career.  It’s another to walk away when the Rams are dangling a six-year, $36 million deal, which they did — and which Bell signed — in 2008.

And it’s quite another to say truthfully that Bell never would have played pro football.

That’s a question that each of the concussion plaintiffs will have to answer at some point:  whether they would have refused to play if they had known everything players now know about concussions.  For any of the concussion plaintiffs who are willing to tell the truth, that could be fatal to their claim that the NFL failed to warn them of the risks.

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11 Responses to “Jason Taylor thinks 95 percent of former players would do it again”
  1. drummer2177 says: May 11, 2012 10:27 AM

    Whats sad is that some former players are really hurt and suffering from prevous head injuries. Then there is the other group who blew their millions and now want to jump on the “money train” by joining in the court action.

  2. FinFan68 says: May 11, 2012 11:08 AM

    Every single player made a choice. The old-timers did not get paid like the players of today but the choice was the same. They chose to play football for a living (although for some it was supplemental income) and now they want additional compensation. It is ridiculous and a simple money-grab. It would be similar to veterans suing the military (I know they can’t legally do it) because they were never told that combat is inherently dangerous. That is an absurd argument made to show the absurdity of the law suits that are sprouting like weeds throughout the NFL landscape. It is a shame. These players are going to kill the sport of football as we know it. I wish the NFL could put a liability waiver or similar clause in each contract.

  3. bchapman2011 says: May 11, 2012 11:28 AM

    Thank you JT for saying what had to be said……That is what is so infuriating about these lawsuits. Players are suing on the basis that they did not have all of the information yet had they been given the information they all would have made the same choices. These lawsuits are just a blatant money grab.

  4. situsavaisprier says: May 11, 2012 11:47 AM

    I still find it funny that those players, playing in the NFL a collision sport, claim that the NFL failed to warn them of the risks.

  5. deelron says: May 11, 2012 11:58 AM

    5% changing their minds is not a small number.

  6. txbossman says: May 11, 2012 12:01 PM

    Who knew that slamming your body into other people’s bodies might be harmful?! Pay ‘em!

  7. thejabronisayz says: May 11, 2012 12:38 PM

    He’s 100% right. In fact, I bet more than 95% of players would do it all over again.

    That’s what makes these concussion lawsuits so sickening. These players voluntarily chose to play an inherently violent game, and if given the opportunity, would indeed do it all again.

    Yet somehow those same hypocritical nuts turn around and sue the league and the owners that made them millionaires. I’m sorry, I may be an extremely bitter man due to my monotonous desk job, wishing on a shooting star that I could have had the opportunity to be a pro-athlete, but I have absolutely zero sympathy for the players who file these lawsuits.

  8. CKL says: May 11, 2012 12:59 PM

    Matt Chatham responded to this link’s headline on Twitter by saying “…and the other 5% are lying.” I bet he’s right.

    I don’t begrudge them their money because of what they go through and because I am a capitalist. But unless they can prove the NFL deliberately withheld information they had about certain dangers like concussions, they should have no grounds for suits.

    Dustin Fox who played for Philly and who is a local (Cleveland) sports radio guy even said he refused to wear the concussion safer helmets because they weren’t cool looking. His perspective is different today, but the fact remains that if you as a player didn’t take advantage of better safety equipment how can you sue the NFL with a straight face? It’s insane.

  9. beeronthefridge says: May 11, 2012 3:33 PM

    And who are the current and former players? Violent brute bullies who don’t know any better, who couldn’t do anything else in life, trained and programmed to make themselves insane with never-ending hits to the head. These players are victims of a brutish culture led by the American people who want to see brutal hits and injuries every Sunday.

  10. dwight123 says: May 11, 2012 6:48 PM

    …..You don’t see all these lawsuits in rugby,as a football fan..it’s quiet imbarrassing.

  11. icyhuck says: May 11, 2012 9:08 PM

    boxers take more blows to the head than anybody ,but u don’t see the majority of them suing DON KING OR THE WBO,WBC,

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