Chris Borland retirement brings new attention to football safety

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15.05.2016

The NFL responded to Chris Borland’s decision to retire after just one season saying football has "never been safer." The 24 year old linebacker expressed concerns over repeated head injuries and his decision is bringing new attention to safety on the field,
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For Borland, playing even just one more season was out of the question.

"I just don’t want to get in a situation where I’m negotiating my health for money," he said on ESPN’s "Outside the Lines." "Who knows how many hits is too many?"

Borland said the doubts started creeping in during 49ers training camp last August, when he thought he sustained a mild concussion but played through it.

"I had just started my professional career and am I going to go down this road? Am I going to commit the prime of my life to something that could ultimately be detrimental to my health? That just kind of triggered my thinking and changed the way I viewed the risk," Borland said.

On Twitter, players said they understood Borland’s decision.

WOW. I loved Chris Borland’s game but I can’t fault him for calling it quits. His concerns are real. Still it takes a man to do the logical. If you’re not 100% committed to this game, better to walk away.

"I love the game too much. I just love playing football. I understand the risks and everything that comes with it, but I feel like the reward is worth it," Marshall said.

In a since deleted tweet, Marshall mentioned Borland and another 49er who called it quits,
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Legendary sports agent Leigh Steinberg,
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"It adds one more level of concern to anyone who is a parent of a young male athlete or prospective athlete," Steinberg said.

Borland said his decision is not an indictment on football.

"If you weigh the risks and decide is this something you want to partake in, it’s a free country," he said. "Just make an informed decision, and two, don’t play through concussions."

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