NFL Legend Joe Namath: I Have Brain Damage

Image: NFL Legend Joe Namath: I Have Brain Damage

Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 09:44 PM

By Greg Richter

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Famed quarterback Joe Namath says he has brain damage he believes was the result of concussions he suffered during his years on the field.

The former New York Jets and University of Alabama star told Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" on Thursday that he has had tests on his brain and has had at least five concussions that he thought were serious.

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Namath insisted he feels "great," but he hasn't talked about the issue publicly.

"I don't feel like I should at this time. But, yes, I've had some help. And I have had some tests that have shown some things," Namath said.

"Some brain damage?" host Bill O'Reilly asked.

"Yeah," Namath said.

Namath also made the admission in an interview to air on "CBS Sunday Morning" the day of Super Bowl XLVIII, reports the New York Daily News.

In the CBS interview, Namath told reporter Rita Braver, "I’ve had some treatment – and I’ve improved.

"None of the body was designed to play football. Excuse me, you know, football, we're just not designed for," Namath told CBS.

But he told O'Reilly that the hits were part of the sport and he wouldn't change anything.

"The name of the game is 'kill the quarterback.' Every football team tries to knock the guy out of the game that's handling the ball," he said.

"I've always felt lucky. I've always felt blessed," said Namath, who suffered multiple knee injuries over his career. Other people have more serious problems than he has gone through, he said.

"I would do it again in a flash," he said.

Namath's admission comes after a growing number of players have said they have suffered long term from concussions sustained in the game. The NFL settled a lawsuit with more than 4,500 former players for $914 million, but a federal judge has rejected it as insufficient.

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