Charles Mann was a stalwart defensive end for the Washington Redskins during their glory years.
Now in retirement and watching ex-teammates suffer from the devastating effects of CTE, Mann says he wishes he’d never played football. All of the glory just doesn’t seem worth the possibility of long-term brain damage.
From 1983-93, the physically imposing Mann helped lead the franchise to two of its three Super Bowl wins. The former Nevada Wolfpack star retired second all-time in franchise career sacks with 83.
He’s also forever enshrined in the team’s Ring of Honor. His leadership and professionalism was always touted by iconic Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs, who called him a “man’s man.”
Recently, in an appearance on The Sports Junkies 106.7 FM “The Fan, Mann talked about his career and if he could change it by never setting foot on the gridiron.
“I’m being brutally honest. If I could do it again, I would not have played football.”
Mann goes on to talk about CTE, and other brain injuries that unfortunately occur throughout a football career. In retrospect, Mann says there’s no way he’d play football knowing these days.
The risk outweighs the reward. In his opinion, a few moments of glory and a handsome payday isn’t worth the long-term health effects that occur when you hang up the cleats.
“I’m too smart, guys. I’m a business owner. I got too much going on in my mental to be doing something, all those surgeries need recovery time, and part of my life has been lost to healing from something, and I’m sick of that.”
Thank you! https://t.co/DUqApYp1Ip
— Charles Mann (@CharlesMann71) April 12, 2019
Manning isn’t visibly showing any signs of cognitive damage, but he’s not unfamiliar with the brutal beating an NFL player takes. Mann had 12 different surgeries, including six on his knee. He’s also had some post-career operations from other injuries he suffered while playing. So if anyone knows what it means to go under the knife it’s Mann.
Mann Says HOF Art Monk Showing Signs Of CTE
During the interview, Mann said he hasn’t seen an abundance of players showing signs of brain deterioration, but he did mentioned that Pro Football Hall of Famer and legendary Redskins wide receiver Art Monk is showing some signs of early memory loss.
— Charles Mann (@CharlesMann71) December 28, 2018
It’s freaking Mann out.
“Art, he’s starting to lose his memory a little bit. You start seeing guys starting to go down and it’s sad. I don’t want to go that way. I am really working hard to be as sharp as I can so I can stay mentally aware. I’m constantly working, constantly using my brain, just so that doesn’t happen to me, but it does. And probably 95 percent of us are gonna have CTE. So far, every brain they’ve checked after they’re dead, they’ve had CTE.”
Monk at one time was the NFL’s all-time leading receiver. The former Syracuse Orangemen star finished his HOF career with 940 receptions for 12,721 yards and 68 touchdowns. Plus he was a member of all three of the Redskins’ Super Bowl teams.
— Women of Washington Football (@wow1932) June 28, 2015
CTE Has Been A Growing Concern Amongst NFL Players
CTE, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, is a neurodegenerative disease. It causes nerve cells in the brain and parts of the nervous system to deteriorate and eventually die.
It’s been reported that the disease is caused by brain trauma or blows to the head over and over. The New York Times reported that as of December 2021, 315 former NFL players were posthumously diagnosed with the deadly brain disease.
So one could see the concern Charles Mann has for himself and former teammates like Art Monk who may be less fortunate than him and showing signs of the disease.