NFL shells out $765 million to former players in concussion settlement
A group of former players lead by Tony Dorsett, Jim McMahon, and the family of Junior Seau (who passed away last year) has accused the NFL of knowingly downplaying head injuries so that players could return to games. The former players - more than 4,500 of them - filed a lawsuit against the NFL for putting their league image over the safety of their players.
Though the NFL denies the accusations, they have reached a settlement with the former players - $765 million. While it seems like a huge chunk of change to hand over while maintaining your innocence, this is a matter that the NFL simply wanted to get behind them. By putting the lawsuit to rest, they will diminish public exposure of the situation, and will avoid showing exactly how guilty they are. To top it all off, they will save money on lawyer fees by shortening the litigation process.
The money received by the former players will be distributed to several different areas of concussion-related causes. The $765 million will be used for retired players' injury compensation, medical research, and other medical benefits.
If the NFL wasn't taking player safety seriously before, they are now. It has become a priority for the league over the past few seasons, and we have seen progress being made. Whether it be the five-phase protocol for players returning from concussions, the disallowing of helmet-to-helmet hits by defensive and offensive players, or the hefty fines and suspensions handed down to violators, the NFL is doing their best to decrease head injuries.
It's extremely frustrating for the fans who love to watch massive collisions on the football field, and I'll be the first to tell you that there are too many ticky-tack calls out there, but if it is necessary to improve the quality of life for players after they retire, it's tough to argue against it.