New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has suffered several concussions over his career, including one during last year’s Super Bowl-winning season, according to an interview with his wife, Gisele Bundchen.
“As you know, it’s not the most, let’s say ‘unaggressive’ sport. Right?” Bundchen said in an interview with CBS This Morning on Wednesday. “He had a concussion last year. I mean, he has concussions pretty much every — I mean, we don’t talk about — but he does have concussions.”
As a result of the controversy surrounding the topic of concussions in the NFL, the league went through Brady’s medical records to find out whether he suffered any injuries to his head last year. Not only did he have no record of a concussion last year but he did not have any concussions in his entire career. The only injuries reported last year dealt with his leg, thigh and ankles.
“We have reviewed all reports relating to Tom Brady from the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants and certified athletic trainer spotters who worked at Patriots’ home and away 2016 season games as well as club injury reports that were sent to the league office,” an NFL spokesman said in a statement. “There are no records that indicate that Mr. Brady suffered a head injury or concussion, or exhibited or complained of concussion symptoms.”
Ever since the league was sued by thousands of former players who claimed the NFL hid the dangers of concussions while playing football, the league has taken a stronger stance toward enforcing recent protocols on reporting injuries.
The NFL said it would contact the NFL Players Association to collect additional information on the matter. Comcast Sportsnet reporter Jill Sorenson tweeted a response from NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith Wednesday.
“Our Union has taken the proactive steps to address the issue of player health and safety — concussions in particular — during the past several years,” it said. “We are united with players and their families to raise greater awareness, improve medical care and protocols, and above all, to offer them with support. Of course, we will proceed with our process as normally would for any player, but we are equally proud of our leadership in this area for our members and for athletes at every level of sport.
The Patriots did not comment on the report, and Brady’s agent has not responded to interview requests from media outlets.
Wife Wants Brady to Retire Over Health Concerns
Bundchen appeared on CBS This Morning alongside environmentalist Paul Hawken to promote their new book about reversing climate change.
Host Charlie Rose got onto the topic of concussions after asking about her husband’s interview on SiriusXM Radio. In the interview, Brady said that Bundchen wanted him to retire.
“If it was up to my wife, she would have me retire today,” Brady said in February. “She told me that last night three times. And I said, ‘Too bad, babe, I’m having too much fun right now.’ You know, I feel like I can still do it. If you love what you do and you’re capable of doing it, then I might be so bored if I wasn’t going out there knowing that I could still do it. So I’m going to work hard to be ready to go, and I still plan on playing for a long time.”
When asked about whether that was true, Bundchen mentioned Brady’s concussions and the physical demands of the sport.
“I don’t really think it’s a healthy thing for your body to go through that kind of aggression all the time. That could not be healthy for you, right?” Bundchen said. “And I’m planning on having him be healthy and do a lot of fun things when we’re, like, 100, I hope.”
In an interview with ESPN on Monday, the 39-year-old reiterated his desire to continue playing well into his 40s.
“I always said my mid-40s,” Brady said of the prospect of retirement, “and naturally that means around 45. If I get there and I still feel like I do today, I don’t see why I wouldn’t want to continue.”
He also mentioned his wife.
“She makes decisions for our family that I’ve got to deal with,” he said. “Hopefully she never says, ‘Look, this has to be it.’ … My wife and my kids, it’s a big investment of their time and energy, too.”
More Players Retiring Early Over Concussion Concerns
The news about Brady comes at a time when reports about football greats suffering from brain diseases likely caused by the game continue to come out.
Earlier this month, Sports Illustrated revealed that former linebacker Nick Buoniconti and former running back Jim Kiick were diagnosed with dementia and potentially living with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
On top of that, players continue to announce their early retirement over concerns about how concussions may affect their mental health in the future.
In one of the most high-profile retirements this year, Jordan Cameron announced his retirement at the age of 28 due to the four concussions he had in his six-year career.
“If I didn’t get concussions, I’d probably keep playing,” Cameron said to ESPN. “It’s one of those things. I can’t risk my mental health in the future. I don’t have any symptoms now. I’m perfectly fine. But they can’t tell me with 100 percent certainty that if I keep playing and I get more concussions, that I’m going to be OK.”