Friday, June 14, 2013

Hall of Fame cornerback believes football will be gone in 20 years

Former Detroit Lions cornerback and Pro Football Hall of Famer Lem Barney doesn't believe football will be around in the "next 10 to 20 years" and said he wishes he never played in the NFL.

Barney cited the brutal toll the game has taken on players over the years as his primary reasoning. He also made light of the fact that today's players are becoming increasingly stronger and it's making the game more violent, as well.

“People often ask me do I miss the game, do I wish I could still play with all the money they’re making today. Even with all of that, I’d say ‘Heck no,’” Barney said. “The game is becoming more deadly today. It’s a great game, and I think it’s the greatest game if you like gladiators. It’s the greatest game for yesteryear’s gladiators.

“But in the next 10 to 20 years, society will alleviate football altogether because of how strong it’s becoming, how big it’s becoming and the tenacity that it already is. And it’s only going to get worse.”

Barney's comments came at the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp in Southfield, Mich., alongside fellow speakers Michigan coach Brady Hoke and Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio. Both Hoke and Dantonio appeared reportedly shocked by Barney's remarks.
That is quite the statement to make from a man who spent 11 seasons in the league after starring at Jackson State. Barney was the 1967 Defensive Rookie of the Year and earned seven Pro Bowl selections en route to being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992.

However, he said he would much rather have pursued a career as a cab driver, instead.

Barney, 67, has become quite critical and outspoken about the game in recent years and his main complaint has been about player safety. He is among thousands suing the NFL over concussions and said the recent death of fellow Hall of Famer Deacon Jones likely had to do with head injuries sustained while playing football.

Via Pro Football Talk

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