Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush seems to be torn on his feelings for both the physicality of football and the physical and mental toll it can take on your body.
Bush has taken to Twitter to express his feelings on how NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has handled the New Orleans Saints bounty program and also about how the game can damage a player’s body.
While it’s hard to fully grasp a person’s feelings through social media, Bush has revealed how he has been thinking about the issues.
When the suspensions for the New Orleans Saints was handed down last week, Bush took to Twitter to defend how football is a physical game and if people can’t handle it, tough.
“You want something less physical go watch basketball or baseball! This is what we do! Period,” Bush tweeted. “Next thing you know we’ll be playing two hand touch football! #Lame”
Then just a few hours later, the professional football world was shaken to its very core when former San Diego Chargers great Junior Seau committed suicide in his Oceanside, California home. Bush was shocked and saddened by Seau’s loss, especially to his home town of San Diego.
Bush tweeted his feelings and later said a story from Deadspin.com showing how many of the key players from the 1994 San Diego Chargers Super Bowl team were already dead was “very scary.”
Bush tweeted the following day to “tell someone close to you today that you love them. You never know when it could be your last opportunity.”
Then Tuesday morning, Bush rhetorically asked, “Which would you prefer, to be a millionaire or billionaire and dead before the age of 45, or work middle class and live to be 90 years old?”
Later Tuesday, Bush said that he would let his children decide what sport to play, but if they chose another sport he’d be, “HAPPY!”
Bush’s struggle with both sides of the coin is defining football right now.
Most current players want the game to be hard-hitting and just as physical as it has always been. Countless former players are suing the NFL for the game being so physical and taking a toll on their mental health, which they claim the NFL knew about for decades.
The players want it both ways, which owners and fans would like as well, but technology hasn’t advanced enough to produce helmets that can cut the concussion risk down to nearly zero. And as anyone who has had multiple concussions can tell you, they do have a harmful effect on your mental health.
The former players continue to warn current players of the physicality. But when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hits a player with a suspension for hitting a defenseless player or other vicious hits, the current players say he’s taking the physicality out of the game they play.
It’s a debate the league and the players have to have and have to come to an understanding the need to keep the game as physical as possible, while also keeping the player’s health, both physical and mental, as good as possible.