Bo Jackson Says He Never Would’ve Played Football Had He Known What We Know Today About Head Injuries

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Bo Jackson is a legend, and he will remain a legend for as long as people are around to tell the stories of his impossible athleticism and skill. If people remember him for one thing, it’s his ability to not just play both baseball and football at the pro level, but to do so well and memorably. Now, he says that with what we know about the long-term effects of playing football, he would have never put on pads and a helmet to begin with.

“If I knew back then what I know now,’’ Jackson tells USA TODAY Sports, “I would have never played football. Never. I wish I had known about all of those head injuries, but no one knew that. And the people that did know that, they wouldn’t tell anybody.

“The game has gotten so violent, so rough. We’re so much more educated on this CTE stuff (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), there’s no way I would ever allow my kids to play football today.

“Even though I love the sport, I’d smack them in the mouth if they said they wanted to play football.

“I’d tell them, “Play baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, just anything but football.’ ’’

It wasn’t even brain injuries that ended Bo’s career early, but a dislocated hip that necrotized and needed to be replaced, ending both his baseball and football careers. It’s hard to imagine life without Bo’s Raiders highlights, or his all-time great character in Tecmo Bowl, but it’s even harder to argue with Bo’s logic.