No career regrets for former Saints prop James Graham

Former Saints' idol James Graham has admitted to having no regrets about his career, despite the potentially catastrophic consequences of multiple concussions.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 2:15 pm
James Graham

The prop forward, who left Knowsley Road in 2011 to pursue a career Down Under with Canterbury Bulldogs and St George Illawarra, told the Sydney Herald: “Maybe for me the meaning of life was finding something worth dying for.”

The issue of concussion diagnosis and management is again a hot topic after two incidents from the opening round of the NRL season.

Matt Dufty was allowed to return to the fray after appearing to cop a blow to the head, an incident that resulted in Cronulla’s Jesse Ramien accepting a three-week ban for a reckless high tackle.

Graham was considered one of the toughest forwards of his generation after stints in the NRL and the Super League.

He made headlines throughout his career regarding the concussion issue, most notably when he claimed that he, as a player, should have the right to play through the risks associated with repeated head traumas.

Speaking on Fox Sports’ NRL 360 program on Tuesday, Graham said that even after that he has retired, and that he has a wife and family to consider, he wouldn’t change anything even if there were catastrophic consequences to his actions.

''It's a very complicated issue and I had to do some really deep thinking and what the consequence I faced,'' said the 35-year-old.

''I considered, ’Ok, I’m hanging up the boots for concussion for future brain diseases'. But where was the purpose going to be filled in my life?

“I personally felt I needed a cause. What’s the meaning of life? Maybe for me the meaning of life was finding something worth dying for. I went with it.”