Emmitt Smith on concussion problems: “I’m going where they are”

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Players worrying about long-term health risks isn’t new.

But with every passing concussion lawsuit, every study, more players are becoming more worried about the choices they made earlier in their lives.

The Sporting News is doing a series about concussions and their long-term impact on players, and many of the men who voluntarily signed up for this job are having second thoughts now that their career has ended. With stories of players committing suicide or having post-career dementia increasing each year (and with more than 3,000 filing concussion-related lawsuits), it’s easy for them to wonder if they’re next.

I’m going where they are,” Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith told TSN’s Matt Crossman.

Smith said he doesn’t have any symptoms now, but worries that they might be around the corner.

“Knowing what has started to come out in terms of the evidence of guys having mental issues right now, it concerns me, especially when you’ve carried the football more than anybody in the National Football League and have more yardage than anybody in the National Football League,” he said. “That means I probably got hit more than anyone in the National Football League, so why shouldn’t I be concerned?”

The concern is a later-in-life phenomenon, as Smith’s like many players who adopted a whatever-it-takes mentality during his playing days.

In July, Smith said he’d “definitely” lie to doctors to stay on the field, exposing the mindset that’s prevalent among the young.

“How many people think about, ‘Some day I’m going to be 50′ when they’re 20-something years old?” Smith said. “As a young player you can go through certain things that you might not understand the repercussions right then and there because it’s in the moment.”

The concussion issue isn’t going away for the league, and the concerns won’t abate for those who have already chosen to pursue a dangerous path.

19 responses to “Emmitt Smith on concussion problems: “I’m going where they are”

  1. It’s funny how all these former nfl players are filing lawsuits when in fact they knew the repercussions of playing this violent sport.

    None ,not one had an ISSUE when they were living it up in the lime light!

    No judge in their right mind should take any case serious!

    If thats the case…please…please give all those millions back you made……….oh I forgot the whole reason majority of the ex players are filing suits is because they have no millions left!


  2. Emmitt definitely has the right and justification to be concerned, but that 2nd quote reads like Emmitt taking an opportunity to tell you how great of a player he was.

  3. okay here’s the deal. the nfl needs to show that players despite knowledge that the actions they’re taking have repercussions they would still continue to do it. this is easily proven by the fact that well everybody now knows the repercussions of taking steroids roids are still a part of the game not just in the nfl but all professional sports.

  4. I tell you who won’t be going there: Barry Sanders. Got out with his health intact and rarely, ever took big hits. Emmitt was a Warrior—took the punishment and kept getting up. Barry was a Magician—now you thought you had him…and then you didn’t. GOAT.

  5. @gsthebest

    Terribly misinformed statement. You do realize smoking was considered healthy at one point?

    There had been few, if any, studies on the long-term impact of sustaining concussions. Nor were they even good at even diagnosing concussions.

    If anyone had complained in Emmitts day they would have likely been ridiculed and labeled as weak by teammates. We still see this today even with it being a hot button topic.

    Anecdotally, one can can probably surmise sustaining concussions is not good, but we are talking about their livelihoods.

    We will likely see much of the same talk regarding the long-term concerns of steroids, but, again, very few reputable studies.

  6. If that’s true that there weren’t any credible studies on concussions, why should the NFL be held responsible for concussion injuries?

    The NFL never put a gun to the heads of players and told them they had to play the dangerous and violent sport of football.

  7. It’s about the money plain and simple. If they really cared about there health and the future players they would agree to use the money for better research on how to protect the next generation of players and themselves.

  8. Actually, I think Emmitt has a case – have we forgotten some of the gobbledy-gook that came out of his mouth when he worked for ESPN? Here are just a few reminders:

    “He gets the ball over to their third read than most quarterback can.”

    “What happened tonight, the strength of the Patriots team got debacled.”

    “He’s stuck between a rock and a hard place. And the reason why I say that is this kid obviously has not earned the rice of patches in the locker room.”

    Emmitt can sue for millions.

  9. Never did a running back benefit so much from an offensive line. Terry Kirby would’ve had a 2000 yard season behind that line. Barry Sanders or Walter Payton could’ve had a 4000 yard season behind that line.

    Emmitt Smith is in the HOF and no one can take that away from him, but let’s face facts- an overweight 8 year old could have run through the holes that line created.

  10. What you expect to play the most violent position in football, carry the ball more than anyone before you and have no symptoms?

  11. It’s a contact sports and dangerous that’s y they make the money they make you make take a hit and never walk again it’s a risky game.

  12. scotchrocks says:
    Aug 21, 2012 12:16 PM
    Emmitt definitely has the right and justification to be concerned, but that 2nd quote reads like Emmitt taking an opportunity to tell you how great of a player he was.


    My thoughts exactly.

  13. What about Boxers? Why don’t you hear about them. You would think they would be having more cases.

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