It was a different league back in the day. Players were encouraged to play injured feeling the pressure to get replaced if they didn't with much more depth on rosters than today with the Salary Cap where players often sit out for a little nagging injury instead of sucking it up taking a pain shot and risking their career playing hurt without as much pressure of being replaced. And these guys were paid chump change in comparison to today's players . I'd argue those who aren't more informed of that era with OP even admitting didn't see him play should study up. Choosing such a comparison which might be closer to their heart especially if it's reflecting a current dilemma is picking and choosing a comparison to highlight their own narrative. I'm very sensitive to a child with cancer but don't see the need for such a comparison unless there's an underlying agenda at play.