Although football made Lem Barney famous, it seems that, nowadays, the Hall-of-Fame cornerback considers his career more like a deal with the devil. Barney is one of 4,000 former players suing the NFL, claiming the league didn’t do enough to warn them about the dangers of the sport. Last week, Barney even blamed Deacon Jones‘ death on his NFL career.
Now, Barney is going a step further, saying he doesn’t think the sport will even exist in 20 years due to its violent nature, according to The Associated Press.
”The game is becoming more deadly today,” Barney said at Sound Mind Sound Body Football Academy. ”It’s a great game. I think it’s the greatest game if you like gladiators. It’s the greatest game for yesteryear’s gladiators. But I can see in the next 10 to maybe 20 years, society will alleviate football altogether.”
Coincidentally, camp co-founder Curtis Blackwell plans to conduct neurological tests on about 600 high school players this week in an attempt to determine a baseline for cognitive function if they should sustain head injuries in the future. Concussion awareness, in general, is part of the camp’s program.
As for Barney, he says that he suffered multiple concussions during his NFL career that were only discovered well after he retired.
”I found out after I was out of the game that I had seven, maybe eight concussions,” he said.
Photo via Twitter/@detpkc