Mark Gastineau Asks Roger Goodell to Help Former NFL Players

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2018

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 08:  Former New York Jets All-Pro defensive lineman Mark Gastineau addresses the crown during a haltime ceremony induction him and former Jets wide receiver Wesley Walker into the Jets' RIng of Honor against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium on October 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Former New York Jets defensive end Mark Gastineau broke down in tears during a radio interview Thursday regarding the issue of the NFL helping former players who are battling health issues.

Appearing on WOR radio with host Pete McCarthy (h/t ESPN.com's Rich Cimini), Gastineau called for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to step up: "I want the NFL to treat people right. I want to hold you to your promise, Roger Goodell. You said, 'Anything I need!' ... I want the players to be treated right."

Per Cimini, Gastineau said last year that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and believes they are the result of injuries suffered during his time in the NFL.

The 61-year-old Gastineau also mentioned having a relationship with Goodell dating back to Goodell's time as a public relations intern with the Jets and made mention of a conversation they had last year: "The commissioner told me, he said, 'Listen, Mark, you know what? You need anything, let me know.' He was my ball boy. I treated him great. He told me. Hey, Roger Goodell, treat people right."

Gastineau added that he is part of a concussion lawsuit against the NFL.

He also spoke about his daily struggles and the strain it puts on his wife:

"My wife, she and I used to go around and do yard work. But you know what? She does everything now for me.

"It's not good, it's not good. When I'm laying in bed until three, four, or five [in the afternoon], it's not good. There will be days I get up and I'm good. ... My wife will tell you, she helps me get out of bed...and she'll help me remember names."

Gastineau spent 10 seasons in the NFL from 1979 through 1988 after the Jets selected him in the second round of the 1979 NFL draft.

He finished his career with 74.0 sacks, five Pro Bowl selections and three nods as a First-Team All-Pro.

Gastineau set an NFL record with 22.0 sacks in 1984, a mark that was broken by New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan in 2001.

After his football career, Gastineau went 15-2 with one no-contest in 18 professional boxing fights.

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