In the past week, we’ve seen two major stories involving CTE. The first was on July 25th when the New York Times released a report saying 110 of 111 former NFL player brains surveyed had CTE. The second was several days later when Ben Roethlisberger said he is considering retirement after 2017 because of the NY Times story.
Less then a week after both of those stories broke, New York Jets rookie and 6th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft Jamal Adams was asked about CTE. Adams’ response was anything but ordinary.
“If I had a perfect place to die, I would die on the field,” Adams said.
CTE doesn’t cause players to drop dead on the football field, but instead years later in various circumstances. For Adams to respond by saying a football field is a perfect place to die is just strange.
When Adams responded to this question at a fan forum, the audience applauded him.
"If I had a perfect place to die, I would die on the field" — Jamal Adams of the Jets pic.twitter.com/yEpIkJZoWj
— SportsNet New York (@SNYtv) July 31, 2017
To make things more interesting is that Adams was sitting next to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell when he said the odd quote. Goodell of course has quasi-denied how bad CTE is and has “downplayed” the impact of it on NFL players.
Adams of course comes into the league at the same time as players are retiring due to CTE concerns (Chris Borland), retiring to pursue advanced education (John Urschel), and thinking about retiring due to CTE (Roethlisberger).
Probably not the best time to be dodging a question about CTE.