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#pounditWednesday, September 23, 2020

Morris Claiborne: I would keep playing if doctors said I could die

New York Jets rookie Jamal Adams made some alarming comments on Monday when he said he believes the football field would be the perfect place to die, but he is clearly not alone in that line of thinking.

Morris Claiborne, a veteran defensive back who signed with the Jets this offseason, discussed the risk of CTE and head injuries with Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Not only is he willing to die playing football, but Claiborne says he would keep playing if a doctor told him the risk of death was imminent.

“A lot of people don’t believe me when I say this, but I would die out there on that football field,” Claiborne said. “This is my life. This is what I do. I give it all. I would die out there.

“If I was concussed that bad where they said you can’t go back out there or you’ll potentially lose your life, I gotta go. I gotta go play. I gotta go play.”

Plenty of players have admitted to hiding concussion symptoms from team doctors, but Claiborne’s thoughts go beyond that. The same is true for what Adams said before him.

“Literally, if I had a perfect place to die,” the firs-year safety told reporters. “I would die on the field.”

Claiborne has been diagnosed with three concussions since college, but he clearly isn’t concerned. The 27-year-old acknowledges that his mother, fiancee and 7-year-old son would probably want him to stop playing if doctors said he was risking his life.

“They don’t feel the way I feel about this game,” Claiborne said. “If anybody can go through some of the things that I went through and still push on, you ain’t gonna let nothing stop you. So, I’m not going to let nothing stop me. Nothing at all.”

While Claiborne’s view on playing football sounds extreme, it’s that mentality that keeps football on top of the American sports pyramid. Some of the best players in the game have shared similar sentiments, and we don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

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