Last week’s settlement between the NFL and former players and their families was $765M. Surprisingly, instead of the subject of concussions and football becoming moot, it’s in the headlines and trending in social media and on newscasts nationwide.
What is more interesting is that there is a lot of blame to go around.
The NCAA is facing accusations of failing to educate players on the dangerous risks of concussions and not taking enough action to prevent, diagnose and treat brain injuries.
The NFL continues to remain in the spotlight as another lawsuit was filed 3 days after the $765M settlement, alleging the NFL hid what it knew about the dangers of head injuries. This new lawsuit wants medical care for past, current and future NFL players.
In response to the NFL settlement, Boomer Esiason, a former union representative with the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1980s, who also played for Cincinnati, the New York Jets and the Arizona Cardinals, said he thought the union could have “pushed harder for player safety.” As a former player, Esiason added, “I’ve never been one to shirk the personal responsibility aspect of all this, – I too, deserve some blame,” said Esiason, appearing at an event with Goodell later in the day in Baltimore. “I think the union deserves a lot of blame for not taking this issue seriously 25-30 years ago.”
Football has been dangerous since its beginning. Players with talent and ability pursue their dreams to play in the NFL, knowing there are risks of injury. If and when these players are provided the tools to protect their incomes, understand the value of individual and own occupation policies, they can have an added layer protection should they become injured or suffer a career ending injury.