Charles Mann is a beloved figure in Washington sports, won two of his three career Super Bowls with the franchise, and is a part of the team’s Ring of Fame.
But if he could do things over, the four-time Pro Bowl defensive end says he would give up those memories and accolades and never strap on a football helmet.
“I’m being brutally honest,” Mann said to The Sports Junkies on Wednesday. “If I could do it again, I would not have played football.”
Citing injury concerns that many have shared as more information comes out regarding the dangers of CTE and brain injuries that are sustained over the course of a football career, Mann says there was too much risk and wear and tear that he wouldn’t put himself through if he could go back.
“I’m too smart, guys. I’m a business owner,” Mann said. “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.”
Asked if any of his former teammates felt the same way, Mann said none of them have said it specifically, but being around former teammates and fellow Washington legends like Art Monk, he believes they might be regretful of their NFL careers as well, or at least what it did to them.
“Art, he’s starting to lose his memory a little bit,” Mann said. “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 be so I stay mentally aware. I’m constantly working, constantly using my brain, just so that doesn’t happen to be, 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.”