Harry Carson joined other former players as well as brain-injury researchers to address a forum organized by House Democrats who are exploring what can and should to make the game of Football safer for players on all levels.
“Every parent should be informed. They should be informed as to what risks they are subjecting their kids to,” said Carson, “Understand that your child could be subject to a neurological injury that could affect them for the rest of their lives.”
“There’s a physical risk that you assume when you play. I think all of us understood the physical risk. But when we played…there was no information on the neurological risk.”
“I personally have had the opportunity to come in contact with people who are in their teens and having neurological issues. Young people who played high school ball…Individuals who never even got to the NFL.”
“So The issue, while we focus on the NFL, is more widespread than anyone knows.”
Carson now devotes much of his time to raising awareness of TBI. He has said he would not allow his 8-year-old grandson to play football.
After the forum, Carson acknowledged his disappointment that head trauma in football, like so much in Washington these days, has become a partisan issue. Rep. Frank Pallone, a New Jersey Democrat who organized the forum along with Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, said Republicans had no interest in convening a formal hearing on the subject. And several members denounced President Donald Trump for his recent suggestion that the NFL is less enjoyable since the league began taking steps to address player safety.
“It won’t be a partisan issue if it affects some of their children,” Carson said of Republicans.
The NFL declined to send a representative to the forum, Pallone said. The league acknowledged a link between head blows and brain disease after years of denials and agreed in 2015 to a $1 billion settlement with former players.
- Full Video Of The Forum (Facebook)
- Full Video Of The Forum (C-Span)
- Former player: Parents should be warned of football’s risks (LA Times)
- Addressing the Long-term Effects of Sports-related Brain Injury(Democrats)
- Is Football Safe for Children…or Adults? (District 5 Diary)