It’s been a little over a year since the sudden retirement of Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, and the reason behind that decision was never really clear – until now.
During an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Johnson stated that “of course” he hid concussions from team doctors.
“They’re going to dispute that, but anytime you black out, anytime you hit the ground and everything is stars and stuff, any time your brain hits your skull, that’s a concussion.
No matter how severe it is, it’s a concussion. Now granted, some people get nausea. That’s a severe concussion when you get hit like that and you get nausea and stuff like that. But if you play football long enough [you’re going to have concussions].”
Upon retiring, Johnson paid back $320,000 of the signing bonus on his final contract, one-tenth of the $3.2 million the Lions could have collected.
While that may factor into his honesty currently, it’s hard to dismiss his claims as fabricated given the fact that as one of the best receivers of his generation, he did walk away from the NFL while still in his prime.