Legendary New York Giants linebacker Harry Carson is the latest former NFL player to come out against the consequences of a career in football. In an interview with Dr. Max Gomez of CBS News New York, the 58-year old Carson made the startling confession that the fame and success that came with an NFL career wasn't worth the risk.
"Knowing what I know now," the Hall of Famer said. "If I had to do it all over again, I would not because it's not really worth it."
Carson— who was always known as a thinking man's player— has been diagnosed with Post Concussion Syndrome and told CBS that he had suffered at least 15 concussions during his playing career and most went undiagnosed and were damaging.
"I was forgetting what I was talking about while people were asking me questions," the nine-time Pro-Bowler said.
Carson played 13 seasons (1976-88) with the Giants, won a Super Bowl in 1986 and is one of the revered members of the New York Giants Ring of Honor.
Still, with all of the success and accolades his football career brought him, Carson thinks he paid too dearly for it.
"There was times I was dealing with little bouts of depression," he said.
Now, after the recent suicide of Junior Seau and the New Orleans Saints Bountygate, Carson is advising parents to steer their children away from the sport he once loved. He already made it clear he does not want his 2-year old grandson to ever put on the pads.
"I told his mother he's not going to play football," said Carson.
While Carson always did most of his talking on the field— his physical speech is even slower and more deliberate now— his message about the long term effects of the sport is clear.
"I hope that every parent understands what they're doing to their child," he said. "When they sign a consent form to allow that kid to play."