Come to find out, it’s not as glamorous as one might think.
“My husband could have lost his life to a staph infection. His NFL doctors and trainers were heating/icing/stemming his knee for a bursa-sac rupture and ignoring all the major signs of infection, while his body was screaming that something else must be wrong. He ended up in an emergency operation weeks after symptoms began. Following five nights in hospital isolation and many weeks beating back the infection, he was ready to play for the city we love and a team we built our life around. He would help them win the coveted Super Bowl Championship. Less than a month later he would be gone, feeling completely expendable and replaceable as if his blood, sweat and tears did not matter.
Now I know many don’t want to hear our complaints: we made our bed and now we have to lie in it. But what about the pro football players of tomorrow who have no idea what they are stepping into? Boys who are playing football because they love it and have found something they are really good at? They see the pride on their family’s faces every time they strap on that helmet, but these young men have no idea of the pain they will endure or the true uncertainty of their career choice. They have no idea how long they will work or when their bodies will say “no” to the abuse. What these men need to know is that as they step on the field and risk major injury – while generating billions of dollars for this industry – the billionaires who write the checks are not looking out for them. They need to know that they are going to be lied to. They need to know that when they suffer an injury they will be told they should buck up and play.”
Jaclyn was inspired to write the letter after a friend was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) that’s believed to be linked to repeated concussions. Over the coming weeks, you can expect more letters from family members directly impacted by the NFL lockout.