The big safety concern was addressed by some, with the topic fresh in the news due to a recent legal development. About 100 lawsuits have been filed against the NFL and helmet maker Riddell by former players and their families claiming that negligence caused long-term injury or death. Last week, those lawsuits were all combined into one big class-action suit.
A former Alabama player asserts, "The NFL must open its eyes to the consequence of its actions." With regards to the lawsuit against the league, plaintiffs want the league to open its eyes to its alleged inaction in the past. Former players believe that they were not fully informed about or kept safe from the life-altering effects of sustaining multiple concussions on the field.
They suspect that higher-ups in the league knew about the health risks but didn't take action to educate and protect the players who filled the stadium seats. As a result, those players would get hit over and over without going through a proper recovery. Those dangerous habits are now being linked to former players' medical problems, including early signs of Alzheimer's disease, memory loss, depression and more. In some cases, players' have even committed suicide, for scientists to later find that they had been living with brain damage.
The matter of brain injuries and football needs to be legally addressed not only for the past players who have been injured but for the current and future players as well. The knowledge of concussion dangers is well-known now, but we must be certain that proper safety procedures and rules are in place to prevent the sort of hardships and tragedy that have resulted from a past of dangerous norms within the league.
Source: The Huntsville Times, "Ex-players concerned about concussions' long-term effects," Mark McCarter, June 10, 2012