Jets rookie Jamal Adams hasn’t played a down in the NFL, but it’s clear that the threat of CTE will not deter him from playing football as long as he can. Adams, 21, said Monday that he’s “all about making the game safer,” before adding, “I’m not a big fan of it.”
“If I had a perfect place to die, I would die on the field,” said Adams, the sixth overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. “I would be at peace – and that’s not a lie.”
Adams said this while sitting immediately to Roger Goodell’s right. Goodell’s response?
“I think he should have saved Jamal Adams from himself,” NFL on CBS analyst Bart Scott said in studio on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “He could have saved Jamal Adams from himself. (Adams) being a young player, (Goodell) should have interjected and said, ‘Come on, young man. You’re going to live a long time. We don’t want you dying anytime soon on the football field.’”
Afterward, Goodell said Adams was simply expressing how much he loves the game.
Even even more unsettling than Goodell’s non-response, perhaps, was the fact that audience members clapped after Adams said he wanted to die on a football field.
“I think the fans were stupid, too, because they egged him on,” Scott said. “First of all, when he said the first comment, why did you laugh? Secondly, when he said that – ‘I want to die on the football field’ – why would you clap? Were they blowing stupid juice into the air in there? Was it mind-control dust or something? Just so out of touch, man.”
Scott said that Adams isn’t thinking rationally – in part because “he got that first check.”
“‘I’ll die here, man,’” Scott said, explaining a young player’s mindset. “‘Give me that money.’”
Scott does think that the NFL has been unfairly singled out for CTE and brain trauma, but that doesn’t make Goodell’s response, such as it was, okay.
“The NFL, they take all the brunt of everything,” Scott said. “Boxing don’t have to deal with this. You don’t hear the conversation like this around MMA. Soccer’s not getting the black eye. The headers in soccer, a lot of guys were getting concussions in youth soccer, and I think they’ve taken it out. Hockey should be studied.”
Overall, Scott believes there must be a greater focus on brain trauma and mental health in all sports.
“Athletes are allowed to hide, and it’s hard to recognize,” Scott said. “(Fans) just see them as violent, intense, passionate, but sometimes there’s some hidden things.”