Jerome Bettis feels “taken advantage of” by the NFL on concussions

AP

Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis thinks the NFL did players a disservice by failing to deal honestly with them about concussions.

“You definitely feel as though you were taken advantage of in a way that you weren’t given that information, and you always want to have the choice of knowing, and when that is taken away from you, you feel as though you were taken advantage of,” Bettis told the Associated Press.

Bettis, who spent 13 years in the NFL, said anyone who played a career as long as his is going to get a concussion at some point.

“I don’t think you’ll find many guys that had a long career, played 10-plus years, that didn’t have a concussion,” he said.

Bettis was speaking at an event in Israel where NFL players toured a neurotechnology company that is researching better ways to diagnose concussions. Bettis believes both that the NFL needs to get better at diagnosing concussions and that the league needs to be more honest with players about what they find.

57 responses to “Jerome Bettis feels “taken advantage of” by the NFL on concussions

  1. My friends and I called him “The Bus” because we imagined trying to tackle him would be like trying to tackle a bus.

  2. I guess all of the millions these guys made over the years wasnt enough to go see their own doctors every once in a while.

  3. I would run down on kick-offs and punt returns with no helmet for $250 large a year !

  4. You didn’t have to play.. If you forgot you name and where you were didn’t that tell you something..

  5. I feel taken advantage of after hearing your football analysis, Jerome. It’ll always be time in my life I’ll never get back. Bettis is a dope.

  6. It is a violent, contact sport. Bettis earned millions because fans are willing to pay to see such a violent, contact sport where men risk their health for our entertainment.

    The league could go to flag football, but everyone would probably soon take a 90 percent pay cut.

  7. Bettis is full of it. He knew fully well what he was doing by playing RB in the NFL. He made millions playing in the NFL and it was his choice.
    Anyone who says they didn’t know how serious concussions are is either stupid or lying. All you have to do is look at boxers. For over 100 years punch drunk fighters have suffered from brain damage and died young because they took too many blows to the head.
    Even if the NFL wasn’t truthful about them, I feel no sympathy for these players. Because they should have been smart enough to figure it out for themselves.

  8. I have a hard time having any sympathy for a guy who dished out as much or more punishment than he received. Every player in the game now and then know they are playing a violent sport and they are paid handsomely for it……deal with it

  9. Bettis was good for about three years and then he was average yet he and everyone thinks he’s worthy of the HOF. I’ll hate him forever because of the 2005 super bowl when the hawks played in Detroit for bettis’ victory tour. Heard all week about how awesome it would be if bettis and the steelers won in his hometown. Then the game started and the refs made sure that story was told.

  10. some how i just cant make myself feel bad for people who made millions playing a game.

  11. elmerbrownelmerbrown says:
    Jun 19, 2017 6:29 PM
    I would run down on kick-offs and punt returns with no helmet for $250 large a year

    And your career and possibly you life would end on your first return.

  12. The vast majority of these players admit they would have played anyways had they know then what they know now.
    If not, there would be no NFL today. All these players playing today know the risk of concussions now and here they are still playing. So I wish all these players would stop complaining about this.

  13. And I feel taken advantage of by watching his mediocre career and then him being in the hall of fame !!!!!

  14. Bettis 6th on the all-time rushing list. 12 yards away from 5th place.

    11th on the all-time rushing TDs list.

    Super Bowl win.

    There are worse stats in the HOF.

  15. Listening to retired players whine about this stuff makes me laugh. He made millions and had fame like he’d never get in any other life endeavor and now whines about the effects of a game he knew was brutal when he played it. He didn’t need anyone to tell him on Mondays he was in pain. He should have quit in college if he doesn’t like it.

  16. I guess after playing football all your life you just now figured out that football is a Physical Contact Sport?….So when you got to the NFL you decided the best way to a Big Contract was to not HIT,,play a watered down version of football and Your a concussion Victim of the League when your NFL career and NFL paychecks end?

    Please….

  17. How can you take part in a violent activity and claim that you had no idea that your health is at risk? You chose football and the league compensated you very well.

  18. I remember when JB came out and said he faked an injury to avoid getting cut by the Steelers at the end of training camp. That was enough regarding his credibility…Jog on@

  19. Such a lot of misplaced anger against this man. He’s not complaining about arthritis or knees or hips, folks. Bettis was drafted in 1993, which is 3 years before the NFL created their concussion panel. He retired in 2006, which was 3 years after that panel issued its first report (which claimed there were NO long terms effects from concussions – a statement which is laughable now). He grew up and played high school, college and pro ball at a time and in an environment where concussions were minimized and where abuse of players’ bodies in many different ways were commonplace and encouraged by management & coaches.

    Yes, he played a collision sport for money. But he was young and dumb, and he accepted the conventional view that head blows were not likely to come back to bite him. Nothing wrong with him saying the NFL should have been honest about the risk.

  20. number1hawkfan says:
    …Heard all week about how awesome it would be if bettis and the steelers won in his hometown. Then the game started and the refs made sure that story was told.
    ———————-
    We also heard all week Jeramy Stevens talking trash, then promptly dropping at least 5 balls with his alligator arms every time he heard footsteps. I’ve never seen a grown man so intimidated.

  21. “Bettis 6th on the all-time rushing list. 12 yards away from 5th place.

    11th on the all-time rushing TDs list.

    Super Bowl win.”

    Had the game been called fairly, he’d have zero Super Bowl wins and be not-talked about like he was a Viking. As for his career, he had no elite seasons and at most 3 great seasons. Meh.

  22. Bettis needs to stuff it.These players know the risk involved from playing as a youngster back in junior high school.Should i complain and even sue my employer because my knees and back bother me after 40 years working in a factory?

  23. Wow all this hate on a great player and a decent human being. His career was finished a long time ago, before the NFL let on how much they knew not only about concussions but about the long term effect.

    No, its not like boxing, where fighters stand and take punch after punch after punch. It wasn’t that obvious. And everybody forgets that and rags on a guy who is telling the truth.

    Yes, Jerome the NFL misled you and misled many others and paid a huge settlement for their wrongdoing.

    Why bash on Bettis for telling the truth?

  24. HOw many td’s did this guy vultures re from deuce Staley and willie Parker so He could keep padding his stats so he could sneak into the hof? He had a few good years and then was a part time player/short yardage specialist who siphoned off td’s as the bell cow back did all the work between the 20’s. So many better rbs who deserve to be in his place.

  25. “You definitely feel as though you were taken advantage of in a way that you weren’t given that information, and you always want to have the choice of knowing, and when that is taken away from you, you feel as though you were taken advantage of,”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    First, he knew darn well he was endangering himself by the way he played. To say the league didn’t tell me is just a disingenuous ploy to ensure he remains eligible for future settlement cash.
    Second, the union had ALL the data the league did. If the players were never told then it is because neither the league nor their own union reps told them. Why single out the league. It seems to me that the NFL as an employer is bound to inform the players. They gave the data to the NFLPA. In my world, that constitutes technically fulfilling that obligation. The beef should be with their own union, not the league itself.

  26. Lots of players say they still would have played is true but probably not as long. Hell your seeing it now these guys make some money snd get the hell out. No good having money and it all goes to your Dr.’s not like they can get insurance on the cheap, pretty sure that’s a pre-existing condition.

  27. Would any former players be upset at the NCAA for their experience with concussions?

    Ask Jahvid Best, it seems his problems started in college, not the NFL.

    Concussions can happen at any level.

    It’s not a league thing; it’s just part of the game until something can change that.

  28. “nyneal says:
    Jun 19, 2017 7:00 PM
    Bettis is full of it. He knew fully well what he was doing by playing RB in the NFL. He made millions playing in the NFL and it was his choice.”

    Actually, a lot of players didn’t know the adverse health risks because the NFL actively hid it. The information on concussions was just hitting the mainstream limelight in the 90s, around the time Bettis’s career stated, yet quoting PBS timeline, “NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue describes concussions as a “pack journalism issue” during a panel on the future of sports:

    “On concussions, I think is one of these pack journalism issues, frankly… There is no increase in concussions, the number is relatively small… The problem is a journalist issue. “

    So yeah. Get that inherent jealousy riddled bs that you’re spouting out of here.

  29. dtlb58 says:
    Jun 19, 2017 8:52 PM
    Bettis 6th on the all-time rushing list. 12 yards away from 5th place.

    …………………………………………

    22 yards from 5th place.

    And he is tied with 34 other guys for 211th all-time in YPC. And in the super bowl win he was a non-factor. 14 carries for 43 yards, 12 yds long. No receptions, no touchdowns.

  30. Weird I remember players wearing shells on their helmets and retiring early because doctors warned them about concussions. If you’re playing a violent contact sport expect anything from sprains to breaks to concussions. If you don’t want to play I’m sure someone else won’t mind that check you’re getting.

  31. Issue is more about the concussions they got in 3rd 4th and 5th grade than the one’s they may have gotten as a pro.

  32. Why weren’t we told earlier that running head-on into one or two 300lb guys doing the same in order to flatten you could lead to head injuries? I mean, I often got up a little woozy or worse despite the helmet, and we all know a knock to the head can be dangerous, even to cyclists wearing helmets… But still, no one said it applied to football, so give me more millions!

  33. Who knew smashing your head against hard objects wouldn’t be healthy?

    DURRRRRRRRRRRR

  34. We should all feel taken advantage of by the fact that he’s only mentioning this now…

  35. I love that the same people who want to bash a player simply for making millions and jumping to the huge conclusion they were inherently aware of the risks the NFL tried so hard to hide are the same ones who fear the game is being made into a less violent form. Now the risks are on the table… remarkably higher rates of alzheimers, dementia, ALS & CTE to name a few. They weren’t put on the table until we put the proverbial legal gun to their head.

    Btw, Bettis is beyond wealthy and isn’t speaking up because he wants $ you morons. Also all of this talk about concussions is a joke. Exactly the conversation the NFL wants everyone to be having. It’s about the accumulation of hundreds of thousands of blows to the head, yes that occur both before the NFL and during if your unlucky enough to make it there.

  36. we didn’t have the medical knowledge and science to prove the link between concussions and long term negative health effects. Although i think it was pretty obvious to anyone who has seen an older boxer; there still isn’t great science out there that proves without a doubt the link between the 2

    so why is the NFLs job to go out and do the research? nobody forced jerome to cash those million dollar checks, with great risk comes great rewards and unless you wanna give those checks back you need to sit down and shut your mouth

    btw i think its pretty obvious he has been negatively affected mentally from all his concussions. Listening to him try to give analysis on ESPN was one of the most painful things i’ve ever had to endure- my man jerome is straight up dumb

  37. As always, someone makes a statement that ask questions and make you think and instead of using logical thinking, some on this message board do what they do best, insult the person making the statement, or post something that has absolutely nothing to do with the original statement.

    Whether you like Bettis or not, he is making a great point. Everyone knows football is dangerous but what Bettis is saying is simple. Let us know the danger we are putting our bodies through so we can make an educated decision. A lot of the older players weren’t given that opportunity and the younger guys who are now given those details, are choosing for themselves. A very small minority have retired early, while the majority feel like they know the risk and want to continue to play. That is all Bettis is saying and wants.

  38. It’s really sad. These poor guys being kept in the dark about potential head injuries/concussions. Jesus!! How else would they have known and the greedy owners should be punished!!! I mean, how would I have ever known?!?!?! (well, except that I started playing 6 man football in 5th grade, and saw people get concussions from then on to 12th grade). But I mean really–how is someone like the Bus supposed to know that concussions were possible? Or MCL tears? Or labrum tears? Greedy NFL owners just be lying!!!!

  39. Bettis 6th on the all-time rushing list. 12 yards away from 5th place.

    11th on the all-time rushing TDs list.

    Super Bowl win.
    =====

    NEVER the best RB in the League at any point.

    Not a top 5 RB in his era (Barry, Emmitt, Thurmanator, Marshall, Curtis Martin)

    Hall of Pretty Good.

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