Willie Parker: ‘If you get a concussion, why would you tell?’

Add former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Willie Parker to the list of players who admit they would hide concussion symptoms if it meant getting back into a game. The NFL has recently made a serious push to improve their methods for identifying players who are concussed during games and holding them out of action for as long as needed. People like Parker remind us of why the league is doing it.

Parker spoke with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review recently and was asked if he believes players will change their mentality of wanting to play through concussions.

“Not if you have any fight in you,” Parker said. “You have to have fight in you, hunger in you and that dog in you. If you get a concussion, why would you tell? Why would you say something?”

The reason, he says, is that players put their teammates ahead of themselves.

“For me, it was the team first,” Parker said. “That’s how I looked at it. You don’t want to let your brother next to you down.”

Steelers running backs Jonathan Dwyer and Chris Rainey basically said the same thing as Parker, noting that if they can stand up they are going to shake it off and try to get back onto the field. Some of the NFL’s biggest superstars have said that playing through concussions are part of the game and Troy Polamalu even admitted he has lied about his symptoms in order to keep playing.

The NFL wants to change the mentality of guys like Parker and Polamalu, but it doesn’t seem like they are having much luck. All they can do is attempt to improve their methods for identifying the symptoms.

Helmet knock to Pro Football Talk

Around The Web

  • JamesT32

    I hear what he’s saying in terms of putting the team first and brotherhood and all that happy crap, but let me tell you, if gigantic bells are roaring in my head and I can’t see straight I’m losing the helmet and sitting down, anyone who thinks that’s pansy, selfish or whatever else can take a flying leap off the nearest tall building.  Then again, like all publicly offered comments, one has to consider the source as I once heard someone ask Parker during an interview, for whatever reason, if he’d played little league baseball as a child.  Parker’s answer – YOU KNOW, I CAN’T REMEMBER.  Disbelieve if you choose, true story.  A few too many concussions perhaps?  LOL  Sadly, although that brief anecdote makes my point rather beautifully, one might even say perfectly, I actually think it’s just as likely that Parker’s simply an idiot with next to no long-term memory (yes, I know, intelligence is not directly linked to memory in human beings) when all is said and done.

  • headman2

    The Alex Smith situation is a perfect example as to why players are going to hide concussion symptoms. The NFL can thank Jim Harbaugh for that; and I like the guy. Think he’s a great coach that happens to be making a mistake.