Lem Barney apologizes for criticism

Updated: June 17, 2013, 10:05 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

DETROIT -- Pro Football Hall of Famer Lem Barney is apologizing for comments he made Friday, when he said the sport might be eliminated in 10 to 20 years because it's so dangerous.

The former Detroit Lions star shared his thoughts at the Sound Mind Sound Body Football Academy while sitting next to coaches such as Michigan's Brady Hoke, Michigan State's Mark Dantonio and Wisconsin's Gary Anderson, along with Denver Broncos defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson.

On Sunday, Barney said he believes his comments were truthful, but the camp was not the right forum for them. He says he doesn't want to discourage young men from their love of the game, he just wants the game to be safe.

Barney is among the hundreds of former football players suing the NFL over how it handled head injuries.

"The game is becoming more deadly today," Barney said Friday. "It's a great game. I think it's the greatest game if you like gladiators. It's the greatest game for yesteryear's gladiators. But I can see in the next 10 to maybe 20 years, society will alleviate football altogether."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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