Brandon Marshall isn’t the only current NFL player spending time thinking about how to make life after the game a bit easier for players.
Redskins linebacker London Fletcher is also sharing some thoughts on that front. In Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback column, Fletcher says that Junior Seau’s suicide caused him some fearful thoughts about what his own post-football life will bring. Fletcher has had family members calling him since Seau’s death offering to help him should he ever need it and it has led him to come up with some recommendations of his own about how all NFL players can set themselves up for success after they retire.
Fletcher wants the NFL and NFLPA to work together to mandate counseling sessions for players as they begin to transition away from their playing careers.
“You take the decision out of guys’ hands, and that way, maybe some of them will be helped,” Fletcher said. “If players have to go seek counseling on their own, lots of guys won’t do that. Men in general, we’re wired to hold things inside. It’s not manly to be vulnerable and ask for help. For me, now, I can tell you I’m going to seek help if I feel I need it. That’s what Junior’s death has taught me.”
Without changing the fundamental nature of the game, you are never going to be fully able to legislate your way out of serious head injuries that lead to CTE and other health problems for players once they have retired. There are other ways to help players, though, and starting them before their careers have come to a close would be the best way to make sure it carries over into their post-football lives. With players like Fletcher and Marshall speaking out now, hopefully some of that help will start to come.