Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy is, like many NFL players, conflicted about his love of football and the risks of playing. But he ultimately believes the rewards outweigh the risks.
“We need to know the risks and the rewards,” Levy wrote in an email to the Detroit Free Press. “This is an area in which the league has failed its players. Not only never talking about the risks, but some people going a step further to deny and cover it up. It’s imperative to help make players, current and future, more aware of all of the challenges they may face as a result of the choice to play football. We need to have the opportunity to really understand what each other may be going through. It’s scary to think I may have CTE.”
So why does Levy keep playing? He says he’s a risk taker by nature, and he has more he wants to accomplish in a game he still loves.
“I really do love the competition and the challenges that football provides,” Levy said. “At this point, it’s about making sure that anyone playing across all levels know the risks so that their decision isn’t based on one-sided misinformation being provided by the league.”
The players who criticize the league over head injuries rarely say they regret playing football. What Levy and many others say is that they wish the owners would level with them about the risks.