Though the words "concussion" and "NFL" rarely go together in a positive headline, Hall of Famer Warren Moon offered some words of encouragement for America's most popular sports league.
"I think they finally are [making the game safer]. I really think they are," Moon told HuffPost Live host Jordan Schultz in an interview Thursday. "I think they're aware of how violent the game had become and how much those big hits were taking its toll on players, and they've really tried to make the game safer. They've tried to make the equipment better and they've also penalized guys who don't play within the rules."
For years -- decades even -- the league was derided by most for its lack of rules in place to protect player safety, specifically as related to head injury. In the last year, the NFL has settled a lawsuit with former players for damages related to concussions, though the details of the settlement have not yet been fully ironed out. The league has also instituted a protocol for teams to follow when a player is suspected of having sustained a concussion.
Moon, 58, is more than familiar with the effect of concussions. He said Thursday that he's had six concussions over his playing career, the first when he was just 11, playing Pop Warner football. Moon has also seen former colleagues like Junior Seau, Andre Waters and others end their own lives after suffering the lingering effects of brain trauma.
"It's something I really worry about because I've seen what concussions have done to a lot of the guys I've played with and guys that have played before me," Moon said. "Head injuries are something I think the league has taken a much stronger stance on, and I worry every day that these concussions are something that are going to come back and affect me at some point in my life. So far, so good for me."
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