Thursday, September 5, 2013

Federal Judge Rules In Favor of NFL Players Concussion Case

What is big, ugly, and gives Roger Goodell nightmares? The United States Justice System. Last Thursday a federal judge approved a settlement between the NFL and those who have played in the league for funds to screen for concussions that those players may have endured over the course of their careers. The final settlement number was $765 million in favor of the players. 

 That may seem like an extreme amount of money, but when thousands of players have touched an NFL field it gets divided up. The settlement also sets aside $75 million for medical exams and $10 million for research. The rest of the money will then be divided up amongst the players pending the condition that the doctors find. Some question the settlement number, but the NFL’s annual revenue is over $9 billion a year.
The league’s headaches are far from over. This past Sunday four players filed a federal lawsuit against the NFL and helmet producer Riddell. The players claim that the NFL and Riddell hid information about brain injury in football. This may be a harder case to settle due to the fact that American Football is known for being a violent sport. These four players are seeking medical care for not only players of the past, but for the present and future as well. 

Player safety is the number one goal in American Football today. Some fans feel Goodell is softening the game with the rule changes that are being made, but when those rules are saving players lives it is hard to argue. Last summer longtime San Diego Charger Junior Seau was found dead in his California home where later it was a confirmed suicide. It was later stated that brain damage caused Seau’s suicide shaking the whole sports world. Seau’s death more than likely forced the judge’s hand in the NFL vs. players lawsuit. 

The NFL should expect more lawsuits similar to these recent ones which will change how seriously the NFL and it’s players take brain injuries. College football has even added a rule for the ejection of a player if he is penalized for targeting. Multiple cases of targeting ejections were seen in the opening weekend of the college football season. From the NFL down concussions are being taken very seriously this season and will be for as long as the sport of American Football exists. 


Zachary Cintron is a sophomore in Drexel's Sport Management program with a minor in Music Theory and Composition.  Zach also writes for his personal blog, Sports and Music Weekly. You can follow Zach on Twitter at @cintronz.

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