Professional football is a national pastime in the United States. Teams from New York to Miami, and Boston to San Diego, are intently watched from televisions, Internet web casts and stadium seats by millions of people. Yet what viewers often forget is that each collision could be a significant head injury in the making. In fact, this kind of trauma has happened to over 4,000 players who are set to receive settlement dollars from the NFL to cover their suffering.
The NFL settlement deal comes at the price tag of $765 million to the organization, but the price has reportedly been much higher for former football players and their loved ones. Each player involved in the suit has a personal story that reveals just how horrific a head injury can be. From coverage of medical expenses related to paralysis, memory loss and ALS, the dollars will help pay for associated expenses, but can never hope to take away the emotional pain.
Although the NFL has taken safety measures in recent years to mitigate further head injury concerns, football is still known to carry dangers due to the repeated (and high-speed) contact between players. During this highly-publicized NFL settlement case, many neurologically-impaired players and their family members have addressed concern that the NFL did not fully disclose known dangers to their athletes. The NFL chose to settle the case before it proceeded further, which is not uncommon in lawsuits of this type.
While it’s a step in the right direction for New York based and other retired football players who suffered head injury problems due to their careers playing this sport, there are likely to be many more players that step forward in the coming years. The $765 million settlement will not cover current football players. Though no one wants to see the NFL negatively impacted beyond repair, it is within any player’s right to seek remuneration through legal channels for any long-term suffering caused by football-related head injury based upon evidence of negligence.
Source: The New York Times, N.F.L. Agrees to Settle Concussion Suit for $765 Million, Ken Belson, Aug. 29, 2013