State Of Play: Eric LeGrand Speaks On HBO’s Newest Sports Series
November 25, 2014 - 9:26 pm
Eric, the show seems to really take an in-depth look at life from your perspective and really give the viewers a glimpse at some things we’d never see otherwise. I’m sure you’ve seen it by now, so is it an accurate depiction of your everyday life?
Peter Berg reached out while I was in New York, told me who he was and that he was working on a documentary called State of Play and said he thought my story would be an important one to tell. He thought it should be about the behind the scenes [of my day-to-day] for the stuff people don’t see. I thought people should get a whole knew look on how people live with paralysis.
There have been recent comments from LeBron James and even President Obama, where they’ve both said they wouldn’t let their son’s play football (of course, this is hypothetical in Obama’s case). Even before hearing about the documentary, I wondered how you felt about those comments?
Everyone is entitled to their own feelings but if I had kids, I’d be all for [them playing football]. I’m a true believer that everything happens for a reason and you know the risks of football when you sign up. There’s so many great life lessons that come with playing the game. You learn how to deal with adversity, facing ups and downs. There are a lot of moments that people don’t see. College season is short and NFL is only 16 weeks of play. The other days you’re facing things with your team and learning things about yourself that you’ll carry on for the rest of your life. If I had a kid, I want him to go out there and play with 110% and respect the game.
There are so many new regulations in the game, that fans are kind of watching a different game than say five or 10 years ago. The new rules are meant to prevent injury and promote safety, but what will football look like in 10 years?
You can’t change it too much. There are some great protocols being implemented, but it is a violent game. Grown men are running into each other at full speed. They’re doing a good job at enforcing the new rules and hitting people with penalties, so guys are avoiding certain things on the field. but you can’t change the game, entirely.