With the Super Bowl a receding memory, we are reminded about the physical nature of football in this Business Week article.
Many players and their families believe that football has been a source of permanent brain damage resulting from multiple head injuries in the course of play for some. A former Princeton quarterback in the 50s, Gene Locks, and a group of allied plaintiffs’ lawyers are taking up the cause and the league is on the defensive.
While Locks and other lawyers say they have no interest in putting the NFL out of business, they will represent more than 4,000 former players and their wives who accuse the $9.5 billion-a-year business of covering up life-altering brain injuries.
A protracted battle could provide the plaintiffs’ lawyers with an opportunity to reveal sordid details about a period during which they allege the NFL intentionally obfuscated evidence of the long-term brain damage suffered by its willing gladiators.
If this is true, and if the ugly particulars are played out in depositions, internal documents, and court testimony, such a legacy could alienate fans already uneasy about the suicides of former players such as Dave Duerson, Andre Waters, and Junior Seau, all of whom suffered from neurodegenerative brain disease linked to concussions. Read More…
The outcome is far from decided and will be determined in part by public opinion, the courts, and hopefully additional meaningful scientific studies.