NY Times- Linebacker Chris Borland of the San Francisco 49ers, one of the top rookies in the N.F.L. last season, is walking away from football because of concerns about his safety, perhaps the most noteworthy example yet of how awareness of brain injuries is upending the sport.
“While unexpected, we certainly respect Chris’s decision,” Trent Baalke, the 49ers’ general manager, said in a statement on Tuesday. “From speaking with Chris, it was evident that he had put a great deal of thought into this decision.”
“From what I’ve researched and what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s worth the risk,” Borland told ESPN.
I understand the concept of brand loyalty. Got to protect the shield, right Schefter? After all, it is the reason that you have a job. However, this isn't of any detriment whatsoever to the National Football League. Yeah, the number of players retiring due to health concerns is at an unprecedented level given the demand for an NFL roster spot. But 5-6 players choosing a lifetime full of health and happiness isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Kids are always going to prefer to play a sport they love professionally instead of 50 hour weeks in a cubicle. Not too mention get paid quite handsomely for doing so.
Schefter is undoubtedly right. Borland isn't going to walk into the nearest office building and start pulling over a half a million a year in salary on his first day. But maybe, just maybe, we can separate an individual prioritizing his future over the volatility of an NFL contract from the effects it has on the NFL. You know what else Borland isn't going to do at his new job on the first day? Be one hit away from being a paraplegic. He won't be in danger of having his contract terminated due to no fault of his own. He won't be risking his ability to potentially have a family one day. Depending on his career he is probably putting his mental health in the same amount of jeopardy, but certainly not his physical health.
Fucking Scheffer, probably thinks prostitution, drug dealing, and being a kamikaze pilot are good long term careers. Leave it to the guy that falls about 6 inches, 100 pounds, and eons of athletic ability short of being an NFL player to start judging people on the decisions they make in regards to their body. Every is so quick to criticize those that are money hungry, why can't we take a step back and respect the maturity of a kid that realizes there is life after football.