What Does A 24-Year-Old Linebacker's Retirement Mean For Football?

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Chris Borland is 24. Last year was his rookie season with the San Francisco 49ers, and he did great, with 107 tackles and a sack in 14 games.

But on Monday, Borland announced that he is retiring from professional football. The reason? He suffered an apparent concussion in training camp last summer, and after spending the next few months thinking about the long term health risks of football, decided they outweighed the benefits. We're joined by Bill Littlefield to talk about the implications for the sport.

Also, we turn to Only A Game's Doug Tribou who's at Red Sox training camp in Ft. Myers, Fla. for the latest training camp news.


Bill LittefieldHost of NPR's Only A Game.

Doug TribouReporter/producer for Only A Game. He tweets @DougTribou.


ESPN: Inside Borland's Decision to Leave

  • "Borland eventually walked away from what he described as his NFL dream, a rising star who now may have to return three-quarters of his $617,436 signing bonus and forfeit most of a four-year, nearly $3 million contract. He said it ultimately was not a difficult decision."

The Washington Post: As another NFL player retires early, football's future comes under scrutiny

  • "Could football really just go away? Or wither rapidly, just as boxing fell swiftly from a popular American sport to a disreputable guilty pleasure with a limited audience?"

This segment aired on March 18, 2015.


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