Reed sides with President Obama on head injuries

Reed sides with President Obama on head injuries
January 28, 2013, 11:45 pm
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Terrell Suggs will let his son play football when the time comes

President Obama recently expressed concern about letting his son, if he had one, play football because of the threat of concussive brain injury.

The NFL has been mired in lawsuits over the matter, and their rule-tightening has hit the Ravens particularly hard.

Safeties Bernard Pollard and Ed Reed have been fined for helmet-to-helmet blows and hits on defenseless receivers this season. Pollard received a $15,250 penalty for a head shot to Wes Welker in last week’s AFC championship game at the New England Patriots.

Reed, who has been fined more than $100,000 for at least two such hits, believes that President Obama’s comments meant something.

“The truth is that football does take its toll. It does take its toll on our life and our body,” said Reed, who has contemplated retirement for several years out of concern for his health and has played with torn cartilage in his shoulder for most of this season. “We age faster than everybody for what we do.”

Reed, 34, is in his 11th year. He said last week that he'll continue playing in 2013. He doesn't have a contract with the Ravens beyond this season. 

Ravens coach John Harbaugh, however, took issue with the President’s view.

“I don’t agree with that,” he said. “Football is a great game. Anybody that’s played the game knows what a great game it is. What it provides for young people, what it provides for people like me is an opportunity to grow as a person. It’s challenging. It’s tough. It’s hard. There’s no game like football. It’s the type of sport that brings out the best in you. It kind of shows you who you are.”