Choices that Determines Health: Reflections after Listening to the Coverage of Chris Borland’s Retirement from the NFL

The March 18th episode of All Access from the Chicago Bears Radio Network focused on the decision of Chris Borland to retire from the NFL. Chris Borland put together an impressive rookie season that left many anticipating a very bright future as a Linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers. However, he made the decision to retire at the age of 24, due to desires to mitigate any potential lifelong disabilities or chronic health conditions many former NFL players current live with, like traumatic brain injuries or musculoskeletal deteriorations. This revelation shocked the world, with news coverage from local medial outlets to the BBC reporting on it. The All Access show’s hosts, Zack, sports reporter; Tom Miller, former Chicago Bears Quarterback; and Tom Thayer, former Chicago Bears Offensive lineman, weighed in with their thoughts.

Zack’s comments appear to be neutral, taking the position of an outsider looking in, therefore lacking personal experiences with such decisions. Tom Miller conveyed thoughts that supported the rookie’s decision, but also acknowledging that these tough choices also occurs in other professionals like law enforcement and first responders. Tom Thayer’s statements possessed a slight defensive attitude towards the news coverage, highlighting his own story about knowing of certain risks but mitigating them with his goals to play within the NFL.

Throughout this segment, three questions kept crossing my mind. These include: