Troy Polamalu has admitted to hiding concussions in order to stay on the field, a revelation that the Pittsburgh Steelers safety made known on Wednesday, amid the flood of concussion-related lawsuits against the NFL.
ESPN reports that Polamalu spoke with the Dan Patrick Show, and freely admitted, “Yes, I have, for sure,” noting that he has also chosen to play injured in games in the past, even when the team’s medical staff told him not to. The safety went on to say:
“I’ve had, I believe, eight or nine recorded concussions. We’ll have another conversation after I’m done playing football. When you get your bell rung they consider that a concussion — I wouldn’t … If that is considered a concussion, I’d say any football player at least records 50 to 100 concussions a year.”
Instead, he states that what doctors view as a concussion is simply a lighter knock to the head, versus a huge hit that completely removes you from play.
According to USA Today, Troy Polamalu went on to say:
“Somebody may say, ‘Is your knee messed up?’ It may be kind of messed up, but you just kind of push yourself to be out there with your brothers. I wouldn’t say there are any major lies where I totally lied may way out of concussions. In fact, during concussions, if it’s serious enough, you can’t even be conscious enough to lie.”
But, considering the risk involved and long-term brain damage that can come from a concussion, why would Polamalu and his fellow player put themselves at such risk? The Steelers player responded:
“There’s so much built up about team camaraderie and sacrifice, and football is such a tough man’s game. I think that’s why it’s so popular, why so many blue-collar communities and people feel really attracted to it, because it’s sort of a blue-collar struggle that football players go through in terms of the physicality of the game and the commitment you need.”
SI.com notes that Polamalu also explained their reasoning behind continuing on, despite injury, saying, “You feel sore, you’re beat up, you’re injured, you’re legitimately injured, most people may take three months off to work in an office, we choose to play the next week.”
What do you think of Troy Polamalu’s admission that he has hidden concussions and other injuries in order to stay in the game?