TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – NFL Hall of Famer and former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Warren Sapp is turning heads with his decision to donate his brain for concussion research. He said he’s starting to forget simple, daily tasks.
Sapp’s decision comes as many former players and their family members are signing on to a lawsuit settlement against the NFL.
Former Bucs player Walter Carter played for the team more than 20 years ago and says he’s feeling the repercussions of the game. For him, the scary part is the symptoms he’s not feeling yet.
“It was a badge of honor to play football. We were all excited about it. You never not once wanted to look like you were hurt,” said Carter.
Carter said he took a lot of hits to the head while he played, but never thought a thing of it.
“In our day we were told to get back in there. Your bell was rung.”
He believes the NFL concealed the link between football and brain damage. He’s less than 60-years-old and having all sorts of problems.
“Head trauma. I definitely feel the loss of memory. I feel the confusion sometimes. You get agitated easy, easier. There’s so many different remnants from that game,” Carter said.
So far, more than 14,000 players and their families have registered for the settlement. Earlier this month, the first two claims were paid out, totaling more than $9 million.
“$9 million sounds like a lot. One had ALS. I don’t think anyone would trade places with that,” Carter said.
Carter hopes his health doesn’t decline any more than it has, but he wants protection if those days come.
“There’s no money that you can pay that will make this go away. It’s just not. It’s just something that will help you for the rest of your life.”
Former NFL players have until August 7th to register if they ever want to see the settlement or any type of benefits.
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