Speaking with BSN Denver about the post-NFL afflictions that have plagued his friends and former teammates (including depression and pain-killer addiction), Plummer said: “I have a hard time with it because everybody says, ‘Oh, poor NFL millionaires. Oh, you poor people.’ They don’t understand. Maybe they should have a little more to say about the owners that are billionaires. They’re not millionaires; they’re billionaires.
“Like Jerry Jones, who says it’s ‘absurd’ that there would be a link between brain trauma, football and CTE,” Plummer continued. “Shame on him for saying that, that billionaire a–hole. It’s the worst thing in the world for a guy like that to say.
“That’s where we’re sitting. Grown-a– men are asked to go out there for millions of dollars — which, yeah, it’s a lot of money — bang themselves around and completely f— their lives over for their 40s and 50s.”
In March, Jones was asked by a reporter whether data had established a link between football and CTE. “No, that’s absurd,” the Cowboys owner said. “There’s no data that in any way creates a knowledge. There’s no way that you could have made a comment that there is an association and some type of assertion.”
“We don’t have that knowledge and background and scientifically, so there’s no way in the world to say you have a relationship relative to anything here,” Jones added. “There’s no research. There’s no data. . . . We’re not disagreeing. We’re just basically saying the same thing. We’re doing a lot more. It’s the kind of thing that you want to work . . . to prevent injury. A big part of this is prevention. But the other part of it is to basically understand that we don’t know or have any idea that there is a consequence as to any type of head injury in the future.”
Jones’s comments had come shortly after Jeff Miller, the NFL’s top official in charge of player safety, had agreed at a Congressional panel that there was a connection between football and neurodegenerative diseases. It was the first time the league had acknowledged such a link did exist, and it followed a Boston University professor of neurology and pathology’s testimony that she had discovered CTE in 90 out of 94 NFL players, 45 of 55 college players and 26 of 65 high school players whose brains had been posthumously donated for examination.
To Plummer, the NFL’s stance on marijuana is particularly misguided because the league encourages players to take addictive opioids so they can play through injuries. Meanwhile, a substance found in marijuana called cannabidiol (CBD) has shown promise in a variety of therapeutic applications, and it produces little of the psychoactive effects of THC, the best-known component of pot.
“Everybody deals with pain. Whether you played in the NFL or not, there are a lot of people that are in pain on a daily basis,” Plummer told BSN Denver. “But the effects that the game has on your body and the effect it has on your brain, we might not be as well suited to deal with that as the rest of normal society. Some of these guys might have some mental problems from banging their heads against each other, and they need that pain to go away.
“When you’ve been taking these pills for so long, you don’t just take one — you eventually move to two and then three because you don’t feel the same effects of it anymore. . . . If CBD is right for them, hopefully they give it a shot and it’ll do what it’s done for me — help them feel a lot better and just feel good about where they’re at.”