A former NFL running back who spent 11 seasons in the game has provided some intriguing insights into the life of a former football player. Michael Pittman, who played 11 seasons with the Cardinals, Buccaneers, and Broncos, told WDAE radio in Tampa that he suffered seven or eight concussions during his career.
“Just like the former players that are suing the NFL, I suffer from the same symptoms of course,” Pittman said, via JoeBucsFan.com. “The headaches, memory loss, vision loss. . . . Sometimes you get depressed. And there’s some times you really can’t control it, just the way you feel, your emotions.”
Pittman admitted that, at one point, he needed to see a psychiatrist — and to his credit he had no qualms talking about a health condition that, despite the inexplicable social stigma, is no different than having a broken bone.
Pittman said that people criticizing the players who are suing the league don’t understand what the former players are going through. “The NFL needs to make these players that [are] playing more aware of the long-term effects of playing,” Pittman said. “Because when I was playing, they didn’t do that.”
He added that, if he knew more during his career the long-term effects of concussions, Pittman may have retired after only two of three. He said he hasn’t sued yet, but he may. (The clock is ticking on the statute of limitations; the NFL likely would argue it already has expired, even if he sued today.)
Pittman, like many former players, is concerned about how he’ll feel in his 50s, given that he’s currently having issues at only the age of 36.
Regardless of whether he chooses to join in the concussion lawsuit, here’s hoping Pittman and all other former players suffering from the effects of concussions get the medical assistance they need to lead long and normal lives.