As part of their extensive media tour leading up to Super Bowl 50, the members of Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches’ Pro Recovery Team sat down with Joe Raineri of 640 AM Sports, of South Florida, to discuss football, Super Bowl picks and reactions to the movie “Concussion.” The interview with Vance Johnson, Randy Grimes, Chris T. Jones and Sean Dykes took place prior to an exclusive viewing of the new Will Smith film at Downtown at the Gardens Cobb Theatre.
Many of the Pro Recovery Team members had some interesting thoughts and opinions about the controversial film and the subject of concussions itself, as each player admitted to having suffered concussions throughout their playing careers. Chris T. Jones said he was pressured back onto the field shortly after sustaining an in-game concussion, and Vance attributed some of his addiction struggles potentially to violent head traumas he received while playing.
“I can remember going across the middle and being hit by Marvin Jones,” Chris said during the pre-screening interview. “Next thing you know, I was on the sidelines with smelling salts. Then they let you know less than five minutes later: ‘Hey Chris, we need you back in the game.’ and lord knows I did not want to go back in that game that day.”
The group discussed emerging research that continues to raise awareness about the short and long-term threats of concussions, one of the biggest hot-button topics in the NFL and all sports. Vance echoed the sentiment that many other former players have expressed: that they would not choose professional football as a career if they could do it all over again.
“I would not want to do it again and I sure wouldn’t want one of my kids to go out there and play football because of the problems that are happening,” Vance said. “It’ not worth a lifetime of not knowing who you are or who your family is, and then the agony and the problem that these guys are dealing with, with the memory loss and some of the pain they’re struggling with. In watching this movie and showing how serious it is, it’s going to bring it to these guys’ hearts. I know it did for me.”
With more and more former NFL players coming out against the sport in their post-careers, the long-term future of the sport may be in peril. Research into concussions and the long-term health effects associated with football is ongoing. As we are armed with more knowledge, parents will be able to make more informed decisions about allowing their children to play football or not.