Ex-NFL star Herschel Walker said that the National Football League does have a problem in the amount of brain injuries that players receive but that the long-term effects of concussions are likely being exaggerated.
"Everybody blames everything on concussions," Walker said to USA TODAY. "The NFL has a problem. It has to determine the difference between (the effects of) concussions and depression. If players lose their money, or wife, or children because of what they're doing, they'll act different. But you can't throw everything on concussions."
Walker, the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner, played three seasons in the United States Football League with the New Jersey Generals and 12 seasons in the NFL before retiring in 1997. Walker himself suffered a concussion in college.
About 3,500 former players are currently suing the NFL saying they did not do enough to protect them from injuries. Walker says the players can't use that excuse anymore.
"We're all crazy in some sense," Walker said. "And everybody tries to throw solutions at things. But what if it's just that you're bad."
Walker also says that drug use in sports and in general irritates him.
"Absolutely insults me. ... Lance Armstrong is a jerk." And in the country at large, "Marijuana used to be considered so bad. Now states are voting to legalize it. What's next? Legalizing cocaine?"