Chargers praise Dielman as they say goodbye


Kris Dielman will announce his retirement from the NFL today, and he’s being praised in San Diego for his nine-year career with the Chargers.

Kris played the game the way it’s supposed to be played: with heart and passion,” Chargers President Dean Spanos said. “He’s a throwback … an old-school player. All he cares about is his family and playing football and today he’s making family his top priority, as it should be, and I respect him tremendously for that.

“He’s universally respected by the players and coaches around the league, who voted him to the AFC Pro Bowl squad four times. He’s respected by his teammates, who voted him Lineman of the Year three times. And he’s a fan favorite. It was the fans who voted him to the Chargers’ 50th Anniversary Team as one of the franchise’s 50 greatest players.

“Kris has had a career to be proud of and we’re all tremendously proud of him.”

The Chargers’ website has quotes from teammates and coaches that make it clear that Dielman has long been one of the most respected men in their locker room. At his formal retirement announcement today, he’ll be praised again.

Dielman was a fine player who deserves a feel-good ending to his career, but it’s also fair to question whether the team and its medical staff did enough for this man who did so much for the franchise. Dielman suffered a concussion during a game on October 23, stayed in the game and suffered a seizure on the flight home, and that incident is what led to his retirement. If the Chargers really want to pay tribute to Dielman, they should take concrete steps to ensure that future players who suffer concussions get better treatment than that.