In a revealing interview with the New York Times, Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson touched on a myriad of topics, including the need for improved health benefits for former NFL players.
“Let me tell you something,” he began. “The NFL is another no-good entity. I bet if you talked to 100 players, I bet you 85 to 90 of them are gonna say they hate the NFL. I just think that’s sad. I heard the other day from two guys. What’s ironic about it is these are white guys. They say the same thing that we Black guys say: They just want you to go somewhere and die. They don’t want to help you, they don’t give a damn about you.”
He continued, “When we came up in the league, we had no health care. I was able to pay for my health care—still am paying for my health care. But think about guys who can’t pay. I know one guy, Drew Hill. He passed away because he didn’t have enough money to pay for his high blood pressure medication.”
The all-time single-season rushing yards leader then went on to discuss CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), the brain degeneration condition that is caused by repeated blows to the head, and how he believes he suffers from the disease.
“I know I do, some form of it,” he said. “Not advanced yet. But sometimes I have a short fuse and sometimes I don’t. Something small, like a guy blows a horn at me, and man, my insides go ballistic. I mean, I’ll go crazy. Like, crazy crazy.
“We guys talk about that, how you have that short fuse. That’s the football, the aggressiveness. I’ll get real aggressive. I don’t like that. I don’t like to act like that. Because once I start, I can’t stop. I’m gonna say, it’s almost embarrassing, it’s uncontrollable. It’s almost like The Incredible Hulk. I cannot control myself. I don’t care if the Pope was here, I’m going to curse and go ballistic. And I don’t like to act like that.”
The rest of the interview is equally as interesting, with the four-time NFL rushing yards leader discussing his reluctance to allow his 9-year-old son to play tackle football, how the damage his body incurred on the field still causes him to struggle with sleep, and his thoughts on the likelihood of his single-season rushing record being broken by Derrick Henry.
You can read the interview in its entirety here.