Jay Busbee, Yahoo Sports — Tom Brady has built an NFL career based on avoiding hits, and he’s built a public persona that’s equally elusive, a gotta-hear-both-sides shield that’s allowed him to rise above most of the tricky issues of the day. Sometimes … it allows him to talk without saying much on one of the NFL’s more pressing issues: the threat of concussions. …
His comments on concussions to ABC News ran along expected lines: “I think there’s been more awareness from the general media on what CTE is, how it affects you, the long-term ramifications of it,” Brady said. “I think, as an athlete, you have to take all those things into consideration and try to be as proactive as you can. Gain information, then go through the proper protocols if you do get a concussion.” …
“Awareness” isn’t the issue any longer; treatment and prevention are. …
Brady’s right-down-the-middle stance on concussions, is a shame. Brady, moreso than any player alive, has both the perspective and the influence to shape public opinion … if he chooses to step up in the pocket and do so.
Such is life for Tom Brady now that he’s virtually incapable of uttering a sentence that someone, somewhere isn’t going to rip. No matter how innocuous. Not matter how measured. Regardless of how un-inflammatory his comments are, he’s going to run afoul of some Yahoo yahoo looking to tear him apart for it. Even if he plays an issue down the middle, he’s spat at for being too down the middle.
Everything sticks to Brady now. And it’s worse than the cliches that he’s Velcro or flypaper. The NFL has coated him in tar, and the Jay Busbees in the world can’t stop, won’t stop, dumping feathers.
The last time I checked, Tom Brady was the quarterback of one of the teams in the NFL. (Or will be, starting in Week 5 if justice is denied.) What can he do about CTE? Cure it by throwing the football better? The people who should be answering that question have spent years and millions of dollars trying to prove it’s not a big deal, when they weren’t spending their time witch hunting the very person who’s the target of this hit piece.
What exactly is Brady supposed to say about concussions in football? He’s against them? They need to stop? What? Football is not only his chosen profession, it’s his passion, as it is for virtually everyone who risks so much to play the game. Do we expect him to come out, guns blazing, tearing the sport apart, telling mommas not to let their babies grow up to be linebackers and calling for a federal ban on the game?
Brady advocates you learn as much as you can, take the medical advancements into consideration and make an informed choice. “Treatment and prevention” are the issue now? Great. Take that up with the professional treaters and preventioners. Complain to the people in the NFL who have made a concerted effort to hide “awareness” like it’s the queen in a three-card monte game. Or take your gripe to the other 1,500-something pro football players who haven’t “stepped up into the pocket” of CTE talk instead of the one who has.
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