Football may be over in a decade or two, according to Hall of Fame defensive back Lem Barney.
“The game is becoming more deadly today,” Barney said at a football clinic last week. “It’s a great game. I think it’s the greatest game if you like gladiators. It’s the greatest game for yesteryear’s gladiators. But I can see in the next 10 to maybe 20 years, society will alleviate football altogether.”
Barney, who is a plaintiff in the litigation being brought by hundreds of former football players against the NFL, added that he found out after he left the game that he “had seven, maybe eight concussions.”
Denver Broncos defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson suggested that Barney may be on to something. “They’re trying to make the game safer, but it’s a gladiators’ sport and there’s only so much safety you can bring to it,” he said. “The best thing we can do is give these kids tools to learn how to tackle the right away.”
This was not the first time Barney has spoken out on concussions.
Last year, he told The Detroit News: “If I look at the game now and I look back on it retrospectively, if I had another choice I’d never played the game, at all, in my life. Never. Never. From all-city, all-state, all-conference, all-American, seven times All-Pro, I’m in eight Hall of Fames, it wouldn’t be. It would be golf or tennis. I’m serious. Very serious.”