Terry Bradshaw never questioned his injuries

Malcolm Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

The four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback didn't join the 4,500-plus plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the NFL. In fact, he said he was proud he survived his injuries, and didn't question his continuance in the violent game.

Few have profited more off his success in the NFL than former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw.

His immense popularity followed his Hall of Fame success, and he's used both to create an entertainment brand that includes speaking engagements and variety shows.

Bradshaw's not about to bite the hand that fed him, and continues to feed him.

An interview with New York Daily News writer Christian Red reveals Bradshaw admitting he knew full-well the risks he would take as a player, and he stands by that as his reason for not joining over 4,000 other former players who were in a class action lawsuit against the NFL over its handling of head injuries throughout its history.

The most revealing bit from the Daily News:

"I think we all are in agreement with pretty much what everyone else is saying — ‘sure would have liked to have known what (the NFL) knew.’ And we could have probably got that out in the trial," Bradshaw said. "But I think all of us know (the NFL) knew. I’ve got stories of what was asked of me. We know the hidden code — the code is you play. There’s a code of silence, a badge of honor that we’re all proud to wear. You could say that’s kind of stupid, but to us it isn’t, because you didn’t do it."

Not every former player had the success Bradshaw has, on and off the field. While receiving no continuing heath care after retirement, very few players from the 1960s and 1970s made much more than the median income at the time - a number that grossly pales in comparison to today. As silent as they may have been, the results of the suit - a settlement reportedly worth $765 million - may inspire the NFL to provide retired players heath benefits in the future.

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