Former NFL running back Ricky Williams said Tuesday he doesn't believe there is a link between playing football and concussions.
"I don't buy it," Williams told ESPN when asked about the connection of head trauma and playing football.
"I'm only speaking from my personal experience, and because I've never allowed myself to buy it, I haven't been the effect of it," Williams said, adding that he healed his body in the offseason as intensely as he punished it during games.
"Yes, I'm aware that football is a rough sport, but instead of saying, 'Oh, I'm doomed to brain trauma,' I said, 'Well, what can I do about this?' And I just started taking care of my body," Williams said.
Williams said his offseason regimen included practicing yoga. He also used a chiropractor and message therapy to "peel off layers of trauma" from his body.
The debate about head trauma in the sport and its long-term effects has intensified as ex-players have brought lawsuits against the league over how much it knew about concussions and whether it did enough to prevent them.
Williams said he doesn't feel any ill effects from his playing days, but admitted that could change.
"Ten years from now, I might be walking down the street scratching my head and yelling profanities, but right now I feel fine," he said.
Williams disagreed with the way the NFL was dealing with head trauma among players.
"I'm not a big fan of the way that the NFL is handling concussions," Williams said. "Maybe I'm stupid, or whatever."
Williams said that that a debate about prevention missed the point.
"But can you prevent a concussion? You can definitely have safer helmets ... you can definitely pay more attention. ... (But) they haven't done anything because they don't know how to treat a concussion."
Williams, a star college rusher out of Texas, played 12 NFL seasons, carrying the ball more than 2,000 times for 10,009 yards and 66 rushing touchdowns. Last season with the Baltimore Ravens was his final in the league. He announced his retirement in February.