Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver and Bay Area icon, Dwight Clark, says he knew there would be ramifications from his NFL playing days. He didn't necessarily know that those ramifications would take such a high toll on his body and life.

"In my mind, I chose to play," Clark told Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area on the "49ers Insider Podcast" this week. "I knew there would be some ramifications. I didn't think about it being brain trauma that would kill me."

In March of 2017, it was revealed that Clark was battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The former receiver started feeling weakness in his left hand in September of 2015 but attributed it to possible nerve damage. Months of tests and treatment finally revealed the horrifying diagnosis.

Maiocco asked Clark if he ever had any doubts that his playing days contributed to his current situation.

"I'm not a scientist or a doctor, but I don't know how it could not have some effect," Clark said. "With all these guys that have it and the league recognizes ALS, Alzheimer's, Dimensia, and Parkinson's as diseases that they pay immediately. They don't even argue. You give them the documentation that you have that stuff, and they give you a big check. So they must think the same thing."

Clark distinctly remembers three severe concussions during his playing days, which spanned from 1979 through 1987. One where he temporarily lost his vision, a second where he did not know where he was, and a third where he walked to the opposing team's sideline rather than the 49ers'.

"I was just out of it," Clark said.

He stated that concussions were just part of the game and players didn't want to leave the field due to fear of losing playing time.

"Mike Wilson was better than I was and John Taylor was better than I was so I couldn't come out of the game," Clark continued. "Guys would take my job. So you just kind of shake it off. Plus, back then, that was just football. You get dinged, and then you go back in, or you stay in."

While the impact on his life has been devastating, the 49ers great praised the way the NFL has handled his situation.

"The way the league handled my situation could not have gone smoother," Clark said. "Because I was diagnosed by three or four doctors because I had several opinions before the settlement was finalized. I just turned in my doctors' reports. People diagnosed after the settlement was approved, they had to go to certain specific doctors that the league picked which made it a little bit harder.

"You can see where the league is coming from. They don't want to give some money to some guy that doesn't deserve it, and then all of a sudden be out of [the money] when there is a guy that deserves it."

You can listen to the entire interview with Clark below.