Roddy White: If I can’t walk when I’m 50 it was well worth it

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Falcons receiver Roddy White is getting tired of hearing from former NFL players talking about the dangers of playing football.

After a week in which several prominent retired players have come forward to say that playing professional football left them physically and mentally scarred, in some cases to the extent that they don’t think it’s a game fit for children, White wrote today that he thinks it’s time for football players to speak up about their love of football.

“It’s crazy how football players are killing our game,” White wrote on Twitter. “You signed up to play a violent game and made a lot of money now you talk bad about.”

When a fan asked White if he’d want to do anything else other than play football for a living, White answered, “No, I love playing football. If I can’t walk when I’m 50 it was well worth it.”

White said he respects the former players, saying, “they made football what it is today and I love those guys.” But White also loves playing football, enough that he’s completely willing to put his body on the line doing it.

61 responses to “Roddy White: If I can’t walk when I’m 50 it was well worth it

  1. I guarantee every football fan would trade places with an NFL player in order to get to do what they do.

  2. Hell yea Roddy White! It sounds crazy when you read it but he’s correct. These guys are playing a very violent sport. There is only a certain breed of human beings that can hang in the NFL. Everyone knows the risks when they sign up in elementary school.

  3. He won’t be saying that when he can’t walk at age 50 and he will have a different perspective then, and try to sue the NFL like these players do for concussions. Time changes people, and so does longer getting paid by the NFL. He says things like this because he doesn’t believe it will happen to him.

  4. Finally someone said it. These guys know the sport is rough, that is why the pay is so high.

    You don’t see MMA fighters complaining, and their pay isn’t nearly as good.

  5. Finally a player that seems to step back and look at the entire football/trauma situation in a realistic and respectful manner. He’s counted his blessings.

    If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

  6. Agreed. Players know the risks and love the money/glamour/women that come from being an NFL player. They need to accept the bad with the good and stop complaining.

  7. Sounds like a statement made by someone who has no kids, young with no real life experience outside of football and still hasn’t figured out he’s not immortal.

    Now I don’t know if he has any kids or not but usually that’s what really puts life in perspective cuz thats the point in life whe you realize if something happens to you, your kids are the ones who suffer in the end.

    Just sayin
    Football isn’t everything

  8. Roddy, don’t try to join any concussion lawsuits when you are 50. You are now on record that you are okay with all the damage that is being done on your body.

  9. There you go Roddy!

    Any player who doesn’t think it’s worth it should quit, like the guy in Cincinnati, and make room for someone that does.

  10. I think everyone’s missing the fact that he’s saying it’s well worth it not because of football, but because Rascal scooters are just that awesome.

  11. How much money would it take to never have the use of your legs again?

    Now look up Roddy’s latest contract.

    That seems about right.

  12. Roddy White can say this because without football he’d probably be nothing. Honestly, he wouldn’t be saying this if he had any other realistic career options

  13. I don’t hear our Soldiers and Marines complaining half as much as some of these players. A soldier makes somewhere around $40000 a year in a combat zone and actually plays a really violent game called war. He’s not making 10 million plus and he has a chance to lose a limb or actually die. Pro athletes have absolutely nothing to complain about. Thanks Roddy White, you make sense when you speak.

  14. Players make a lot more money now than they did then, especially before the advent of free agency. I think that has a lot to do with it. A lot more former players would probably agree with Roddy White if they got paid like he gets paid.

  15. It’s easy for him to say what he said because he is not in that situation, I hope and pray he is still able to walk at 50, but wonder how he will feel if he gets to see 50 and is not able to walk and think on his own, and realize every dime he has made in the nfl is contributing to hospital bills.

  16. That’s great Roddy. Just remember to save your millions so you don’t have to sue the NFL when you’re 50, can’t walk, and start getting those $150,000 medical bills per month.

  17. i agree with white with regards to the here and now, but the money wasnt that good not to long ago, those are the former players who should be helped

  18. As a Eagles fan I never thought I would say it , those other Birds are alright . Good stuff Roddy White , good stuff !

  19. Finally the other side of the story…

  20. At least he’s honest, but let’s see how he responds if he can’t walk 20 some years from now. His attitude is likely consistent with most NFL players — live in the present — which is why so many are bitter, bankrupt and crippled in their 50s.

  21. Roddy is one smart man. You get paid millions, you sacrifice your body. There are other jobs out there that you also sacrifice your body, but you dont get paid millions, not even $100,000.

  22. As others have articulated, I suspect he would feel differently at 50. That being said, the likelihood is far, far greater for RB’s and lineman to actually pay that price than WR’s.

  23. If you take away the millions of dollars he’s going to earn over his career, would he still be saying this?

  24. Police Officer Salary = $50,000
    NFL Player Salary = $2,000,000

    Who takes more risks? Thanks for being wise Roddy, I appreciate people that use their brain and not looking to screw someone over and make more money for themselves. By the way, Goodell SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. diamong says:
    May 9, 2012 5:38 PM
    If you take away the millions of dollars he’s going to earn over his career, would he still be saying this?

    Thats the point. There is no “if” for these players.
    They love the game, and are well (over)compensated.

  26. It is of my thoughts, that this portayal of player pre-destiny as disabled in both mind & mechanic, is a picture painted with broad strokes. It captures the mood & is impressive, but is short of the clarity of your own eyes. There is something to look at, but the scale is inaccurate & this will be shown. Nature vs nurture & the truth is in between. Only nurture is in play for us humans… & that part is in evolution. Prevention is the only thing that matters. Football will survive

  27. These guys know it’s a violent sport when they start playing. You don’t hear vets complaining about what we chose to do as a career and we didn’t make anything near what these guys make/made and got shot at to boot,

  28. finally a realist. I will love the guy from now on for his realism and understanding that alot of these brainless guys have. Sue the Nfl after u made $..c’mon…

  29. this is not the 50’s 60’s 70’s and 80’s. These guys nowadays have the best medical personnel, the best treatment, the most money, etc.

    You are not going to see the types of old timers in 15 to 30 years that you see now. Those old timers played a brutal sport with no medical aid almost.

    Alot of guys played in a time when an ACL tear meant your career is over. Now you miss a season.

  30. Sbxxix,
    Roddy has kids, yes he can name them all and he takes care of them…very well in fact from the millions he earns from playing a kids game.

    Roddy may spout off at times on Twitter but the guy is right every person that played football growing up would trade places with any NFL player in a heartbeat even the practice squad guys.

  31. Yeah im not gonna lie i respect Roddy White even more now for saying that, thats a player who understands why he gets paid what he does

  32. He says that now. After a couple years out of the league, he to will be suing the NFL for long-term concussions symptoms.

  33. dl3mk3 says: May 9, 2012 5:19 PM

    i agree with white with regards to the here and now, but the money wasnt that good not to long ago, those are the former players who should be helped
    You hit the nail on the head. Guys playing back in the 70’s had other jobs to make ends meet, they played a “rough” game for the simple love for it. Players nowadays should be smart about their money and plan for the possible inevitable but some of the older generations didnt have the luxury of substantial income coming from the NFL, those heros of the game should be compensated.

  34. I can’t put myself in Roddy’s shoes because I have no idea what he came from so it’s not my place to disagree with his stance and I respect that he’s aware of the risk he’s taking. BUT if you offered me 5-10 years of fame and the money to last a lifetime at the cost of me not walking at 50 I would tell you to kick rocks. I like the NFL game and enjoy fantasy football but some of you are dead wrong when you say all fans universally want what they have and would gladly trade places with them. I make a decent living and, God willing, will be walking just fine when I’m 50 so no thank you.

  35. White’s comments are like the outcome of the draft. Let’s check back in 25 years and see what he thinks then. That being said, I agree with him in terms of these guys “signing up” to play a violent game. Everyone knows guys are bigger, stronger, and faster, but the difference is the total lack of respect for an opponents health–the mentality. Hitting to the whistle is great, but sometimes you have to have an understanding of a situation in terms of when to light someone up and when not to. If the players today really care about each other–you know, they are all union brothers after all, then they should show some restraint on the field in a lot of instances.

    With regards to the concussion lawsuits, the older players (pre 1990s) played at a time when doctors and players “just didn’t know” the consequences of concussions. At least, that’s what I hear in every interview about the topic. I certainly feel bad for the old timers suffering, but they gotta stop. I’m sorry. I’m with them in fighting for better pensions, but to sue the league over an issue where there wasn’t a lot of info at the time? It’s ridiculous. Like I said, maybe if the current union members took care of these guys sooner, it wouldn’t be an issue.

    I know there was the one team doctor for the Jets from some time ago that was stonewalling the concussion discussions, and the players that played under the care of this particular physician certainly have a claim if any diagnosis was held back. But, quite frankly, I’m tired of this issue.

  36. I would sign a contract right now giving up both my legs at 50 to make the money White does and play in the NFL. The financail security for my family would easily trump any sacrifice I have to make. Not to mention getting to play football for a living.

    I mean I could get shipped out tomorrow and lose alot more for alot less, as thousands of my brothers have already done.

  37. What’s up with all the false bravado about people thinking it is so easy to be stuck in a wheelchair, with debilitating side effects from too many concussions? A few $$$ million and you’d give up your health? Are those really your priorities? I think some of PFT Planet need to work on their empathy.

  38. White’s attitude, and indeed the whole “players know and agree to the risks” mentality, is all fine and dandy as long as we’re only talking about the present set of NFL players. It does absolutely nothing to address the concern of the likes of Kurt Warner and other parents of the next generation of would-be players that the sport may be too inherently dangerous to allow their sons to play. If anything, it may just reinforce that notion.

    White, already being in the NFL, “only” has to worry about not being able to walk when he’s 50. Parents have to worry about the possibility of their kid still living with them when he’s 50 and they’re 80 because he wrecked his brain playing football in his youth and is now unable to support himself or even function on his own.

  39. It’s a simple risk/reward ratio….odds are that you’ll be able to walk when you’re fifty. But there is a slight chance you won’t be able to. The reward is to be wealthy and famous while you are still young enough to enjoy it.

    So you can have the reward with a less than 1% chance that you won’t be able to walk at age 50. Let’s face it, most former NFL players can walk. I think everyone would take the chance if given the opportunity.

    Linemen have it the worst, those guys are lucky to still be alive at age 50. It’s not football’s fault though. They are so big that their hearts just can’t pump all that blood for too many years.

  40. Roddy’s stance is his prerogative whether you agree or not. BUT it’s sure easy in this day of awareness to get on the soapbox and claim YOU’RE aware of the risks and willing to take them. Players, not too far back, might have been negligently uninformed of risks they were taking playing through concussions by college and pro team doctors. Dielman’s retirement is proof some of these guys don’t want the risk. If Seau, Duerson, etc. were informed what was happening to their brains when they were Roddy’s age maybe they would have played and maybe they wouldn’t. I don’t really care. The point Roddy might not be considering is the alumni who were taken advantage of and dealing with a number of health issues, not to mention dementia and depression, in their retirement. Those alumni are his brothers and their situation has potentially not been adequately addressed by his employer. While they’re pleading their case I hope Roddy didn’t have too tough of a time typing his opinion on Twitter.

  41. At least he’s being honest but what is his family going to think about that when he’s 50. Thanks for the money and being set for life Dad, but I sure wish you could walk me down the isle.

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