James Graham has controversial say on concussion debate as more ex-players get ready to sue

James Graham played the game like a man possessed at times.

With a willingness to take the game to absolutely anyone, the 36-year-old was an incredible competitor. But, he also went against medical advice surrounding concussion issues in the latter stages of his career to take to the field.

That’s according to the man himself who, in an interview with the Physio Spill podcast, revealed that rugby league was “worth dying for”.

“It’s the meaning of my life, it gave me a sense of purpose,” Graham said.

“I got quoted as saying this: ‘the meaning of life is to find something worth dying for’ and that’s a sign of who I was and what rugby meant to me.

“Im not downplaying the severity of concussion but when I was valuing my life and when I took into consideration the medical practices, I felt confident I was making the right decision to continue to play and pursue a common goal and be the best rugby league player I possibly could.

The part which Graham found most difficult, however, was talking to his family about the possible issues.

“It’s difficult to have these conversations and I’m not shying away from them, I said look I could be picking up poison here with age-related disease.

“My poison was rugby league and for others it could be alcohol etc, but it gets difficult when you speak to your children and partner – it’s quite hard to talk about.”

The issues surrounding concussion have reared their head ever more so in recent times with both Super League and the NRL attempting to clamp down on high shots whilst a group of ex-rugby league players have begun a lawsuit against the RFL for negligence regarding concussion.

It’s alleged the RFL failed in its duty of care to introduce and enforce rules regarding the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of actual or suspected concussive and sub-concussive injuries.

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