It’s no secret that concussions and their treatment therein is one of the biggest issues in football today. One front of that all-encompassing battle needs to come from players themselves, using the immense power and platform they have to ensure the safest game possible for those that come behind them.
GQ put Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Cameron Jordan and Carolina Panthers defensive lineman Charles Johnson to tell their concussion stories.
Jenkins speaks of taking a small hit early in a game, then later looking at the scoreboard and being completely unaware he’d allowed a touchdown pass a few quarters prior.
Jordan asks why younger players won’t take themselves out of a game if NFL players don’t do the same.
And Johnson states that coaches, teammates and family members won’t pressure players to play through a possible brain injury if they truly have the player’s best interest at heart.
NFL players to high-schoolers: be man enough to admit when you’re hurt pic.twitter.com/LFgUZ4NYfu
— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) January 11, 2017
To back up their testimony, just this week NCAA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Hainline said at the AFCA Convention recent data proves players who immediately report concussions wind up spending less time off the field than players who attempt to play through them.
Spreading data like that is an important part of this battle. So is getting NFL players to talk through their own experiences.