Peter FitzSimons lashes Roosters' Luke Keary over concussion
PETER FitzSimons hasn't held back when talking about recent comments made by Sydney Roosters star Luke Keary.
Keary, the 2018 Clive Churchill Medallist and three-time premiership winner, was set to be the NSW Blues' five-eighth last year until a serious concussion ruined his chances.
With Keary sidelined for six weeks, his opportunity to nab the elusive jersey passed him by last season before he returned to lead the Roosters to premiership glory.
It was his fifth serious concussion in a span of 18 months.
In comments to The Daily Telegraph, Keary said the concussions hadn't affected how he played on the field.
"It's weird because it's concerning how many times," Keary said, "but it doesn't play on my mind.
"I've gone through all of them with professionals and none of them have been light ones where I shouldn't have been knocked out. They have all been big ones.
"Most of them haven't been my fault, they have been accidental head knocks, which are going to happen in our game.
"If I don't want that well then I shouldn't be playing. I understand it's a part of our game and it's always going to be.
"It's not good, it's not pretty and we don't want it to be, but it is a contact sport and it's going to happen."
But the Roosters star has been slammed for the comments by former Wallaby FitzSimons.
With the information now available on head trauma in sport and the rise of CTE in athletes who play contact sport, FitzSimons pleaded with the star to consider moving on from the game.
"Mate? Get a grip. The arbiter of whether or not you are in trouble is not whether or not the contact was deliberate or accidental," FitzSimons wrote for the SMH.
"It was like in my day, we seriously felt it made a difference if the impact on your brain came from a fist in a glove, or a foot in a boot. Only boxers got brain damage we thought. We're footballers. Our brains will know the difference.
"In your case, what the hell does it matter if the concussions you're getting so frequently are accidental or deliberate? Do you think your brain knows the difference. All that it means is, in your line of work, you're getting knocked out too often to be safe.
"You're about to start this season. So be it. But if you get knocked out again, do the right thing by yourself and your family. Take up a clipboard, and move into a different part of the game."
Keary, who became a father for the first time late last season, said he supports the research into concussion but didn't go as far as pledging to donate his brain to science, as former players including Mark Carroll, Brett Kenny and Eric Grothe and Dragons player James Graham have.
At the time, Keary told Fox League's League Life he didn't believe he was putting himself at risk.
"What I can say is that as a game I think we are taking very big steps in the way we deal with it and how we deal with it and the emphasis that we are placing on it," Keary said at the time.
"I know from my experience over the last 18 months I've had the spotlight put on me and I've had to pass several tests to say that I'm good.
"The club and the game have basically said your health comes first and then you can go back on the field and that's why I've had this six weeks now to get myself right and kind of break out of that cycle.
"They don't have all the information and it's kind of hard to pass that onto the player but they are doing everything they can to prevent long term disease."
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