Former New York Jets Defensive End and Ring of Honor member Mark Gastineau appeared in a radio interview with 710 WOR in New York last night begging NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to protect its players. This comes after years of battling brain injuries since his NFL career concluded.
“I want the NFL to treat people right,” said Gastineau to host Pete McCarthy. “I want to hold you to your promise, Roger Goodell. You said, ‘Anything I need!’ I want the players to be treated right.”
Regarding the “Anything I need” statement, Gastineau has been close with Goodell since he arrived in the NFL. Goodell was a public relations intern with the Jets at the time and he told Gastineau to let him know about anything he needs.
“The commissioner told me, he said, ‘Listen, Mark, you know what? You need anything, let me know” said Gastineau. “He was my ball boy. I treated him great. He told me. Hey, Roger Goodell, treat people right.”
Gastineau went on to say that he has attempted to sue the NFL for his long-term injuries but has not been compensated yet. He said that he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Parksinson’s disease. He says that things have been so difficult that his wife helps him with everyday activities.
“My wife, she and I used to go around and do yard work” said Gastineau. “But you know what? She does everything now for me.” “It’s not good, it’s not good.” “When I’m laying in bed until three, four, or five in the afternoon, it’s not good.” “There will be days I get up and I’m good. My wife will tell you, she helps me get out of bed and she’ll help me remember names.”
Gastineau concluded his interview by calling out the NFL by telling them to step up in regards to protecting their players.
“The NFL is wrong,” said Gastineau. The NFL is wrong. They’re wrong. I’m not telling them to give me zillions of dollars. I don’t want zillions of dollars. I want to be treated with respect.”
Concussions and other forms of injuries do remain issues in the NFL today. Even with new rules being implemented every season, many of these injuries are hard to avoid.