WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - League of Denial – a Frontline documentary which recently aired on PBS – ventured into the NFL’s history of dealing with concussions, with particular focus on exposing an alleged coverup by the league as new medical research began to form a connection between concussions and long-term mental health issues.
The key allegation made against the NFL – which reached a $765-million settlement with former players in a concussion-related class action lawsuit – was that the league intentionally ignored the discovery of CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy), and its direct correlation with former players who had sustained concussions.
As Frontline outlined in the documentary, the degenerative disease was discovered in the brains of multiple former players posthumously, and the film alleged that the NFL chose to ignore these findings as the new information was brought to its attention.
Former Redskins offensive lineman Jeff Bostic – in an interview with 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny on Thursday – corroborated the lack of information made available to players, about concussions and preventative measures, during his playing days.
“You pay a price playing in that league. Your body goes through things that most people can’t even imagine,” Bostic told Holden and Danny, before explaining how he’s broken six fingers, had five surgeries, and needs currently needs a knee replaced and another shoulder operation.
“I think the information that is coming forward is a little alarming,” Bostic said. “And you’re at a point where maybe you’re starting to enter that part of your life, and was there maybe something that the league could have done to maybe inform that players at an earlier time, and taken some preventative steps from …”
“I would like to know how many times I was told ‘You just got dinged,’” he continued. “What is ‘dinged?’ There wasn’t any, per say, post-concussion treatment afterwards. I mean if you got knocked out on Sunday, you came back Wednesday, you were practicing.”
Bostic, who played all fourteen seasons for the Redskins (1980-93), was asked how concussions were treated during his playing career, before offering a specific example.
“Get back in and start playing,” Bostic said. “Forget about it. I don’t remember anything that was done from a preventative standpoint after you had been.”
“And it’s kind of funny,” he went on. “We played a game in San Francisco one year, and we had a zone block against Michael Carter, and you can’t see the linebackers, you’re just shooting for an area, and I hit somebody’s knee with my facemask, and I remember that the lights were on by nobody’s home, okay? And I don’t know what I looked like, but Raleigh McKenzie kind of pushed me to the ground, ‘just kneel down.’ And we went off to the side, and the doctor went through this battery of tests. Long story short, we get back to Redskins Park, and I wore this facemask with a double bar, and the top bar was bent down on the lower one. Now these things are tested to like sixteen-hundred pounds of pressure. And that’s what hit me in the head. No wonder I didn’t know where I was.”
“But I don’t remember anything after that as far as post-concussion treatment, no,” he added.
Bostic did specify that even with the new information, if given the chance, he’d do it all over again.
With it being Dallas week, it’s probably important to mention one other Bostic comment: “I still hate the Cowboys!”