Here’s one of the smartest decisions I’ve seen anyone make in a long time: Cincinnati Bengals Jacob Bell is retiring from football, citing last week’s suicide by Junior Seau.
Bell, who has played eight seasons in the NFL, has told numerous media outlets that he doesn’t want to risk sustaining concussions that could lead to permanent brain damage in the long term.
Bell described Seau’s death as the “cherry on top” of his decision to retire, according to USA Today.
Seau’s suicide is one of several by retired NFL players that are suspected of being linked to a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head. That disease causes depression, memory loss and personality changes.
Bell, who is only 31, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “I’ve been thinking about some different things, thinking about health, thinking about the future of my family having to deal with some crazy brain disease that nobody even knows about, where people want their brains studied after they’re dead.”
In terms of Seau’s suicide, Bell said, “You have to believe it came from the game of football.”
Yes, you do.
Bell also talked about the lack of scientific research on the precise impact of concussions.
“If you’re telling me ‘I’m seeing stars’ is some sort of concussion, then you’re getting a couple a week,” he told USA Today. “You’re going to get a minimum 30 concussions in a season. That just gives you a ballpark figure of what people are truly dealing with.”
I agree with Bell: Get out while the going’s good.