Former Detroit Lions defensive back Lem Barney had a football career to be proud of, but the Pro Football Hall of Famer says now that he wishes he never played the game. Barney was outspoken about the dangers of the game and said he believes that football will no longer exist in 10 to 20 years during a panel at the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp outside of Detroit on Friday.
A portion of Barney's comments on the matter were transcribed by the Detroit Free Press's Mark Snyder:
"It's a great game, and I think it's the greatest game if you like gladiators. It's the greatest game for yesteryear's gladiators. But in the next 10 to 20 years, society will alleviate football altogether because of how strong it's becoming, how big it's becoming and the tenacity that it already is. And it's only going to get worse."
Barney added that he doesn't miss his playing days and that he has discouraged his son and grandson from taking up the sport, saying he learned in recent years that he suffered more than a half dozen concussions during his career while lamenting on what head trauma is doing to fellow ex-players.
The seven-time Pro Bowler finished his career with 56 interceptions, returning seven of them for touchdowns -- including a league-high three in 1967.