NFL Concussion Settlement Ends A Headache…Maybe

Concussion Settlement Money too long denied and then delayed should start flowing to former NFL players after a court decision on Monday that upheld the 2013 settlement of a...


Concussion Settlement

Money too long denied and then delayed should start flowing to former NFL players after a court decision on Monday that upheld the 2013 settlement of a lawsuit over concussions and their lifelong effects.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the arguments of objectors to an agreement potentially worth more than $900 million. It won’t make the problems of head trauma go away, but sick and battered former players will get help.

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While “not perfect, it is fair” the court said of the settlement, observing that in any settlement neither side gets everything it wants. Families of deceased players and objectors wanted more and broader coverage; the NFL eventually acknowledged in a congressional hearing that a link existed between degenerative brain disease and football (the court said the NFL was conceding something already known).

Football carries inherent dangers. It is a collision sport, with bigger, stronger and faster participants than ever. Players, now more cognizant of the down-the-road risks of mental incapacitation, are retiring earlier, some after just one year in the NFL (Chris Borland, A.J. Tarpley) and some while they could easily play three or four more seasons (star receiver Calvin Johnson).

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Players must continue to agitate and advocate for safety improvements. So must the league. It is done no good when a player being inducted into the Hall of Fame can neither get out his wheelchair nor speak coherently on his own behalf due to the ravages of a life in the game (and that includes high school and college football).
 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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