Former New York Giants defensive end Leonard Marshall was recognized Wednesday at the VA’s 2017 Brain Trust Summit in Boston after pledging to donate his brain for CTE research.
Given the subject matter of the event, Marshall afterward was asked for his thoughts on the controversy currently surrounding New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, revealed Wednesday on “CBS This Morning” that her husband has a history of concussions. This statement made headlines because Brady never has been listed on a Patriots injury report with a head injury during his 17-year NFL career.
Marshall said he was not surprised to hear Brady has dealt with concussions (“You play the game as long as he has, you’re going to have some issues”), but he did not seem to appreciate Bundchen’s handling of the situation.
“Now, in terms of what happened with Tom and the wife speaking out about it, I think that’s something at home that needs to be addressed, because Gisele doesn’t put a uniform on. Tom does,” Marshall told reporters. “So, for Gisele to make that statement, obviously she was empowered to make that statement by Tom. Was it the right time? No. I would have handled it a little bit differently, but it is what it is.”
When asked whose responsibility it is to report injuries like the ones Brady is said to have suffered, Marshall said the onus is on the player, not the team.
“That’s on Tom more than it’s on the organization,” he said. “… You know what’s wrong with you.”
Current Patriots coach Bill Belichick was the Giants’ defensive coordinator for much of Marshall’s tenure with the team, and the retired NFLer said he never saw Belichick tell any player to conceal an injury.
“Transparency is key in a lot of things in this day and time,” Marshall continued. “Players should want to be transparent because kids are watching, and kids aspire to want to play this game. Hell, I did it as a kid. …
“So at the end of the rainbow, I think that players need to be more transparent about what’s going on with them. I think if you’re injured, it’s one thing. But if you’re hurt, you need to report it. Don’t go out there and play the game hurt and run the risk of severely injuring yourself or something life-threatening happening to you as the result of going out there and you not being healthy enough to play.”
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images