DeAndre Levy became one of the most prominent players to speak out about the dangers of brain injuries and football during his final season in the NFL, and the former Detroit Lions linebacker told a congressional subcommittee Friday that he was told to stop talking about the topic after he brought light to the issue in a letter to the Free Press last spring.

"The moment I said anything about it, I had two calls telling me that I shouldn't talk about it," Levy said during a forum on traumatic brain injuries hosted by democratic members of the energy, commerce and judiciary committees. "I wrote the paper and I was told not to talk about it the first day that it was out and I'm just like, it could have been just because locker room culture is nobody wants to talk about anything other than football, but it didn’t sit well with me when I’m talking about a brain injury."

Levy, who played for the Lions from 2009-16 and was released in March, wrote a letter to the Free Press last spring taking the NFL to task for the way it handled brain injuries and shedding light on his fears about developing the disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

In the letter, first referenced Friday by Rep. John Dingell, Levy wrote that he "became numb to the fact that CTE could be present in me" and that players "have to acknowledge (the possibility of contracting the disease) and talk about it in a real way and demand answers."

Levy also wrote weekly columns for the Free Press last season in which he often addressed similar topics.