BOSTON (CBS) — When it comes to his medical history, Tom Brady is not here to talk about the past.
The Patriots quarterback was asked about his apparent concussion history on Friday in his first presser since the day after Super Bowl LI. Questions about Brady’s possible history of head injuries arose when his wife Gisele Bundchen revealed that he suffered a concussion during the 2016 season and suggested that he has suffered multiple concussions in his career.
Brady, who has never been listed on the Patriots injury report with a head injury, is well aware that his family is worried about the long-term consequences he could suffer as a result of possible concussions and CTE. But personally, he is only worried about looking forward.
“I don’t want to get into things that happened in my past, certainly medical history and so forth. I really don’t think that’s anybody’s business,” said Brady. “I’m just focused on this year and improving and working on things I need to get better at. That’s how I approach everything; I’m not sitting here worried about last year or five years ago.
“There’s people that do worry about that. My wife or my parents or my sisters – people that love me and care about me. But I do the best I can do to come out and be prepared to play mentally and physically and give the game everything I can.”
The NFL is dealing with renewed concerns about CTE and the long-term effects of concussions in the wake of a study by BU’s CTE Center that revealed the degenerative brain disease in 110 of 111 deceased former football players, some of which never even played professionally. Brady acknowledged the significant physical and mental risks he is taking in continuing to play NFL football, but said he is doing the best he can to use information from studies to preserve his own health.
“You’re not blind to [the health risks of pro football] as a player,” said Brady. “I believe so much in being proactive with your health. … I’m confident in what I do. I’m confident in the things that I do and the ways I train. But it’s a contact sport, and I think we all understand that.
“And there’s a lot of great benefits that football brings you. Certainly, you can be put in harm’s way. So you just do the best you can do as a player, and obviously it’s great that there’s more awareness for those types of things. That’s been a very important topic, certainly. But you just try to be proactive and try to take care of your body the best way you can.”
Regardless of what actually happened in Brady’s past, his non-denial of a concussion history is likely to garner strong reactions across the football landscape.