March .24 .2015

NFL Player Retires at 24 Due to Concussion Fears

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland is retiring early due to concussion concerns.

It’s not worth the risk Borland tells ESPN. According to the National Post, Borland said, “I don’t think it’s worth the risk. I'm concerned that if you wait till you have symptoms, it's too late. There are a lot of unknowns. I can't claim that X will happen. I just want to live a long healthy life, and I don't want to have any neurological diseases or die younger than I would otherwise."

Goodbye NFL stardom, hello… golf?

Here are a few facts from Wikipedia that put his difficult decision into perspective:

  • He was the first-team All-state and All-conference player of the year during his high school years. He was also the team captain and MVP.
  • Borland was named Third Team All-American by Yahoo Sports in 2011.
  • Halfway through 2013 season, ESPN ranked Borland as the #4 Defensive MVP.
  • Borland was selected with the 13th pick on the 3rd round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. He was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

The above data confirms Borland’s passion for the sport. Football was his life. Why would Borland walk away from the game he loved so much?

After years of dedication, training, and hard work to get to the NFL in 2014, Borland chose to walk away from a lucrative career.

The scary fact about concussions is that they don’t have defined timelines. It can take years for symptoms to appear and by then it’s usually too late. Prime examples are Mike Webster and Dave Duerson who both committed suicide after head trauma.

The fear of concussions was enough for Chris Borland. Hopefully, his decision will spread awareness and improve safety measures to protect current NFL players.

For more information:

  • San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland retiring after rookie season because of concussion concerns, National Post

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