NFL football players have spent thousands of hours in their life to practice the game they love. When the game becomes too much for the players is when the real damage begins. Players face the harsh reality of not having the benefits that the NFL has given them. Adjusting to real life is harder for a large percent of retired football players. Football is a violent sport that has led to many body, emotional and financial struggles. A survey of 763 former NFL players conducted by Newsday in conjunction with the NFL Players Association’s former players division showed 61 percent said they found it difficult to adjust to daily life after their career, while 85 percent said they did not believe the NFL prepared them for the transition.
A player by the name of Wesley Walker, who was a receiver in the league for 13 years discussed the difficulties that football has put upon him physically and financially. Walker had two surgeries, one was on his left shoulder to fix a torn labrum and rotator cuff. He had spinal fusion surgery during which doctors inserted 10 screws and a rod to help stabilize the spine. He also suffered an ACL tear while taking an awkward step at an autograph signing. Walker is 59 years old, but he said it feels like I am 90 years old when I get out of a chair. All of these are suspected to be a result from football and the ruthless contact that Walker received.
With all of the injuries that players suffer during their time in the league and after their time playing a majority of players say they would do it all again. Athletes work day in and day out to perfect their craft. When your hard work is rewarded by the chance to play at the highest level possible, I would do it over and over again even if I knew the consequences.
Citation: The Life After Football, Mark LaMonica