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Ryan Leaf: The NFL Doesn't Care About Former Players

Ryan Phillips
Ryan Leaf, Matt Leinart Foundation's 12th Annual "Celebrity Bowl" - Arrivals
Ryan Leaf, Matt Leinart Foundation's 12th Annual "Celebrity Bowl" - Arrivals / Rachel Luna/Getty Images
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Ryan Leaf says he doesn't know what to do anymore. After former Pro Bowler Vincent Jackson was found dead on Monday at 38 years-old, Leaf took to Twitter and recorded a video discussing how little the NFL cares about the health of its former players. He was passionate and held back tears while admonishing the league.

The video is below but be warned the language is NSFW:

Leaf says, "The NFL doesn't f---ing care. They don't care. They'll write condolence letters and sh-- like that, but if they were invested they'd actually put some money behind the Legends Community. And into the mental health, substance abuse side of it."

Perhaps the most arresting moment of the video is where he admits to having survivor's guilt over so many former players dying young.

Here's the thing: he's 100 percent right. These players destroy their bodies for the league. Yes, they get paid, but many aren't educated about what they're actually doing to themselves. Many don't understand the long-term repercussions in real terms. When former players struggle with mental health or substance abuse issues, the NFL should be putting money into helping them.

Leaf knows all about this stuff. He's been down the hole of addiction and self-destruction and has found his way out. He is a recovering addict who spent two years in prison but has largely turned his life around -- though he was arrested on misdemeanor domestic battery in May of 2020.

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