Detroit Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy isn’t one to be afraid of speaking his mind. The NFL world knows this after he became the most vocal current player in the league regarding concussions and the league’s stance and research on the matter.
Recently, he’s gone after the league for its continued employment of controversial doctor, Dr. Elliot Pellman, who has worked to downplay research and studies in to the effects of concussions.
However, he has a new target in his fight against the NFL and what it is doing in regards to concussions — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.
After Irsay denied the connection between CTE and concussions, Levy tore in to Irsay in a very serious way via his Instagram account.
Yes, Levy went all “you’re a drug addict, so what would you know” on the Colts owner. Irsay has had his own history of addiction, checking in to rehab following an OWI arrest in 2014.
Irsay’s biggest contention in this issue is that players know exactly what they are getting themselves in to in terms of injury risk. He does admit much isn’t known about the potential side effects that happen after the player retires though.
However, Irsay did also comment on the need to address other issues that contribute to increased risk after playing careers get done — especially in the area of addiction that he knows so well.
“… I believe that is just so absurd as well and it is harmful to other diseases, harmful to things like … when you get into the use of steroids, when you get into substance abuse, you get into the illness of alcohol and addiction. It’s a shame that gets missed, because there [are] very deadly diseases there, for instance, like alcoholism and addiction. That gets pushed to the side and [a person] says, ‘Oh, no. Football.’ To me, that’s really absurd,”
On Levy’s part, he sees the fight more about wanting to see open and unbiased research known for the next generation of players. He had this to say in response to a criticism of his Instagram post:
My concern isn’t for me. It’s for the next generation and little kids that need information from non bias sources to make their choice. Would you trust a player with info or an owner who’s only vested interest is his dollar?
Neither side is wrong here in their larger points, as both the long-term side effects of playing the game and the need to better address addiction during and post-career should be goals for the league to address.
As they both point out — perhaps it’s best if the league opens up and allows unbiased research and reporting to be done on both aspects, so that future players have a better understanding of exactly what they could be in for.