Former NFL Players Say League Hid Dangers of Repeated Brain Injuries

Los Angeles readers might have heard about the ongoing story of brain injuries and professional football players. Over the last two years or so, there has been a lot of concern that football players are suffering from brain injuries at a much higher rate than the general population and so are falling victim to dementia and other mental problems later (but not much later) in life.

Recently, 31 former NFL players sued the professional football league, alleging that the NFL had concealed the connection between concussions and permanent brain injury from the players and did not do enough to keep the players safe. The lawsuit joins about 50 other similar lawsuits, which represent a grand total of 1,200 or so former athletes.

In this case, the chief element of the plaintiff’s claim is that the NFL conducted “irresponsible and dangerous” activity because it did not explore the risks associated with multiple concussions and so did not inform the players about the hazards, nor did it take reasonable precautions to keep them safe. As a result, all the plaintiffs say they now have conditions like depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s.

One of the plaintiffs, who played for the NFL in the 1960s and 1970s, said at that time, brain injuries and concussions were not considered “real injuries” like twisted ankles or sprained knees because the victim could still run.

Based solely on what has been described here, how do you feel about the NFL players’ lawsuit?

Of course, no one asks to be seriously injured, but then again, isn’t it common knowledge that football is a dangerous sport? This is one of those issues on which reasonable minds could disagree.

Source: The Houston Chronicle, “Former players file concussion lawsuit against NFL,” David Barron, April 24, 2012
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