Running back Ricky Williams touched the ball 2,773 times during his NFL career, absorbing plenty of physical contact, to every part of his body. But as his career ends (even though some think he’ll be back), Williams dismisses the link between concussions and brain damage.
Which perhaps conclusively proves it.
Appearing on ESPN2′s Dan Le Betard Is Highly Questionable (the title of the show definitely is), Williams disputed the scientific conclusion that repeated blows to the head can cause Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy.
“I don’t buy it,” Williams said, via Doug Farrar of Yahoo! Sports. “I’m only speaking from my personal experience, because I haven’t allowed myself to buy it, and I haven’t been affected. Yes, I’m aware that football is a rough sport, but instead of saying, ‘Oh — I’m doomed to brain trauma,” I said, ‘What can I do about it?’ And I just started taking care of my body. I found people, places, and things that really helped me — again, I don’t know what’s going to happen to me in 10 years, but I look at the other things I’ve learned about, and the way I see the world.
“And to me, it’s like — okay, yes. If we’re going to spend six months brutalizing our bodies, I said, ‘That makes sense. I’m going to spend six months taking care of my body. I started to equip myself with tools. I started practicing yoga, and I started learning some hands-on healing stuff. I found really good chiropractors and massage therapists, and I found that I was able to peel off layers of trauma on my body. I actually move better now than I did [when I played].”
The best news for the NFL is that Ricky, who played for the Saints, Dolphins, and Ravens, apparently won’t be joining the concussion lawsuits before the statute of limitations expires, assuming that the statute of limitations hasn’t already expired.