While many NFL players who played alongside former Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders suffer from neurological damage related to head trauma, Sanders said he believes that now the NFL is doing a "great job" with concussion awareness.
Sanders was on SI Now on Thursday and told host Maggie Gray he believes the NFL is doing a good job of preventing players with head injuries from getting back on the field without being cleared by doctors.
"The NFL is going a great job and other sports leagues are doing a great job of bringing about awareness, monitoring the kids, monitoring the young men, giving them baseline tests at the beginning of the season, making sure they don't get back on to the field if there's any question that they're not ready to play, so I do appreciate that."
He also said he doesn't believe he was ever concussed in his 10 NFL seasons.
In August 2013, the NFL and players reached a $765 million settlement in all lawsuits over allegations that the NFL did not warn ex-players of the dangers of concussions despite prior knowledge of the harm that could come from head injuries. Players could choose to opt-in or opt-out of the settlement by Oct. 14, 2014.
Sanders also spoke with Gray about the decision to let his son, Barry J. Sanders, play football. The younger Sanders is a running back at Stanford University. Sanders said to his family, the benefits of playing football outweighed the costs, but that to each family, the decision is different.
Sanders is now a spokesman raising awareness for PseudoBulbar Affect (PBA), a symptom of brain injuries characterized by sudden outbursts of laughter or crying.
- Dan Gartland