(CBS) At a time when brain trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy is at the forefront of NFL discussion, new Bears safety Tom Zbikowski may one day find himself in the center of that discussion.
Not only has Zbikowski played competitive football since the age of five, he’s also been boxing since he was nine. Both sports have produced athletes with severe brain damage caused by repeated blows to the head.
Zbikowski joined 670 The Score’s The Mully and Hanley Show and discussed the possible effects of the sports he chooses to participate in.
“Hopefully there isn’t too much damage,” Zbikowski said. “I was never really knocked unconscious in either sport. The more you learn about it, the more you learn the risk of it and the more you can plan for an attack on how to recover. The brain is still a muscle and you have to let it repair if it’s damaged. You can’t be telling people you’re all right when really you’re just hurting yourself and your team, knowing what could possibly be happening in the future.”
Zbikowski has spent five seasons in the NFL – four with the Ravens and one with the Colts. He fought his first professional fight in 2006. Since then, he’s gone 4-0 with three knockouts.
The former Notre Dame standout also offered this: “At the end of the day, we’re still human beings that want to have a life. … I’m not married and don’t have kids but when I do that, I’d like to be able to play with them and be functional.”