One of Tom Brady’s former teammates is disgusted by the quarterback’s “irresponsible” opinion on concussions.
Linebacker Ted Johnson, who won three Super Bowls with the Patriots, said Brady’s claim that his “brain is wired for contact” sends a dangerous message.
“I’ll be honest, and I love Tom, it made me throw up in my mouth a little bit,” Johnson told Boston’s The Sports Hub on Thursday. “It was very irresponsible for Tom to talk like that. ‘My brain’s wired for contact.’
“So, what, Kevin Turner’s wasn’t? Junior Seau’s wasn’t? Justin Strzelczyk’s brain wasn’t? Andre Waters’ brain wasn’t wired for contact? But yours is (wired for contact)? It was very insensitive and I thought irresponsible to talk like that.”
Those are just four of the players whose deaths have been linked to CTE after suffering numerous concussions during their football careers. Johnson has dealt with depression since retiring in 2004. He told CNN in 2009 that he barely left his house in the years after leaving the game.
“I’d [leave to] go see my kids for maybe 15 minutes,” Johnson said. “Then I would go back home and close the curtains, turn the lights off and I’d stay in bed. That was my routine for two years. Those were bad days.”
Brady made the comments in a Dec. 13 interview with Westwood One as he touts his TB12 workout method. The 41-year-old, who has the Patriots in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, plans to play into his mid-40s. He has shrugged off concussion concerns, though his wife, Gisele Bündchen, briefly voiced them in the past and has implored him to retire.
“I don’t. I don’t,” Johnson said when asked if he shares Brady’s confidence in the TB12 method when it comes to brain injuries.
“I haven’t seen it in the medical journals, right? It’s in his book, right? But I haven’t seen any other scientists back it up and validate it. (If) that happens, maybe I’ll start taking it serious. But until that time, it just seems very irresponsible.”