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Tom Brady's concussion comments are more damaging than you think

Sporting News logo Sporting News 8/4/2017 Vinnie Iyer

Tom Brady © (Getty Images) Tom Brady Just in case the NFL hasn't already told you 40,000 times, Tom Brady celebrated his 40th birthday on Thursday. One day later, the Patriots quarterback reminded us that any potential concussion he may have had last season was not "anybody's business."

The days' events may seem unrelated, but they are. Here's the NFL's greatest current player — arguably its greatest player ever — saying that, at his age, we shouldn't worry if he suffered a serious head injury.

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Given that we all revere his unprecedented invincibility as an 18-year professional football veteran, Brady's comments brings back all the old-school thoughts on the league staying too cool on concussions.

RELATED VIDEO:  Brady says his medical history is none of your business

Heck, if it didn't bother Brady or keep from him being the G.O.A.T. with another Super Bowl ring, why should we care in the end? Because regardless of the NFL trying to deflate him, Brady is still looked up to as the model that every player on every level emulates: someone who was that good (and healthy) for that long.

The Patriots are the least forthcoming when it comes to information on injuries, including their severity. Brady may have had absolutely nothing happen to his head in 2016 — or he could have been concussed at the highest grade. We were never going to know either way, and not knowing is what hurts the cause. Gisele Bundchen's claim that her husband had past concussions might as well have never been said.

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Brady also brought up the familiar refrain that football is a physical game, you expect to be banged up playing it, but you still keep playing it.

"You're not blind to it as a player," Brady told reporters. "It's a contact sport and I think we all understand that. And there's a lot of great benefits that football brings you. You certainly can be put in harm's way."

Brady has been cleared, and he clearly wants to move on. But this isn't about protecting himself anymore, but rather helping to protecting the next generation of the game. Even the possibility that the game's greatest QB was "OK" to play through an unreported concussion is contradictory to the NFL's message that it's taking every measure to emphasize safer youth football.

Brady had no choice to comment any other way: following the company line. He knew the league would take any chance to further investigate him. But as the latest case seems closed, it has revealed that it's getting harder to believe whether the league is really doing everything it can to be transparent on concussions.

Related slideshow: Tom Brady's career highlights (Provided by photo services)

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 05: Coll, Football: Closeup of Michigan QB Tom Brady (10) in action vs Notre Dame, South Bend, IN 9/5/1998 (Photo by Peter Read Miller/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images) (SetNumber: X56323 TK2 R4 F32) Tom Brady at 40: His career so far

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