Justin Tuck: “I don’t see why guys jump on bandwagons to sue the NFL for things they put themselves through willingly.”May 16, 2012 – 8:15 am by Steven Cuce
Earlier this week Bears quarterback Jay Cutler came out and said when he chose to go out and play football that he knew the risks involved. The former Vanderbilt signal caller has had his toughness questioned before by the media, but had the courage to come out and say there is no reason for NFL players to sue the league for injuries sustained while on the job.
Giants defensive end Justin Tuck has come out and backed up that statement as well. No.91 sheds some light on the dangers of playing in the NFL while he is enjoying his off-season coming off a Super Bowl XLVI victory.
Justin Tuck joined 98.7 ESPN New York with The Michael Kay Show to discuss Osi Umenyiora possibly leaving the Giants, worrying about his health after he retires, agreeing with Jay Cutler that football players know what they are signing up for when they play the game, letting his kids play football and Osi Umenyiora’s Mother’s Day tweet at LeSean McCoy.
Any concerns about Osi Umenyiora coming back to the Giants?
“Yeah definitely. A lot of concerns because Osi is such a dominant player and he definitely brings a different dimension to our defense and our defensive line. He is definitely someone we would like to have in blue and red and white. Hopefully him and Jerry Reese and Coach Coughlin in there get involved and figure out a way to get one of my running mates back with me. I think he would definitely make the team better, but obviously as a player seeing and being through it you understand the business side of things too. Hopefully it works out for both parties involved.”
Are you worried about your health when you retire if things don’t change in the NFL?
“You definitely do. You definitely worry about it. I know Junior Seau and you just see how the NFL in some ways is taking a turn that you don’t want to have your kids playing. Kurt Warner even made those statements. When you play the game and me personally you don’t have to think about it, but with stuff like this. A lot of it happening it takes background message because you have to say if you are putting your body on the line just like Junior Seau did what’s to say there isn’t a ton of issues they went through that you won’t necessarily go through, but with that being said you have to understand there is a lot of help out there for retired players that might be going through whatever issues they are going through and the biggest thing is a lot of athletes are stubborn minded and always saying they don’t need help. I’m hoping that an instance like this [Junior Seau's death] will get guys to think I am not too big to ask for help if I need it. Hopefully open up that can of worms where guys can start to seek help and we can avoid issues like this.”
Do you agree with what Jay Cutler said? He claims he signed up to play football and understands the risks and that players shouldn’t be able to sue the NFL?
“For the most part yes I do agree. I say this and everybody I talked to football isn’t an easy game. Everybody that plays football understands that it is a dangerous game. We’ve seen it. We’ve seen guys tear ACLs. We’ve seen guys tear Achilles. We’ve seen guys tear up their shoulders. We’ve seen guys have concussions. You know if you play this game long enough you put yourself more at risk to have those types of injuries. I don’t see why guys jump on bandwagons to sue the NFL for things they put themselves through willingly. If the NFL did some things where they knew you had a problem and didn’t get you the proper help that’s different. That’s because you had a concussion and things like that. You put yourself in that situation. I definitely see where Jay Cutler is coming from with that statement.”
Would you let your kids play football?
“I am going to let them make the decision. I’m not going to force football on him just because I played it and have been successful at it. I’m definitely going to let him make the decision. If he tells me that he doesn’t want to play football then I am going to push him to be great at whatever he wants to be.”
What did you make of Osi Umenyiora’s Mother’s Day tweet at LeSean McCoy?
“I don’t know. Osi being Osi. It was funny to me, but I don’t know. Sometimes I think twitter battles are just hilarious. They are probably secretly at a restaurant somewhere laughing at everybody taking it so serious. Who knows? Osi is not the fighting type anyway . I don’t know what to make of it. I really don’t.”