Former football players sue the NFL for ignoring the dangers of head injuries
Football season might be over, but the National Football League (NFL) is still getting a lot of attention. Last week, more than 100 former professional football players added their names to a growing list of players suing the league. More than 1,500 retired players have taken the league to court. They claim the NFL misled them about the long-term dangers of football-related concussions.
A concussion is a type of serious brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body. It jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. Symptoms of a concussion include headache, dizziness, confusion, and memory loss.
Scientific studies have found a connection between concussions and long-term brain damage. Many NFL players have reported symptoms such as mood swings and memory loss years after they stopped playing football.
The players suing the NFL believe that league officials knew that numerous blows to the head could lead to long-term brain damage. They say the NFL misled players about the risks of returning to the game too soon after suffering a concussion.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Associated Press that any claim that the NFL tried to misinform players is not true. The league also says it has added tougher rules about how soon a player can return to the game after suffering a concussion.
But many players say the new rules are too little, too late. They are seeking payment from the league, in part to cover medical treatment for concussion-related injuries. Dorsey Levens, a retired running back for the Green Bay Packers, is one of the former players suing the NFL. He is suffering from the long-term effects of concussions and told CNN that when he played football in the mid-1990s, he had no idea of the consequences such injuries could have.
“I wasn't worried at all, because that’s the way you play the game of football,” he said. “We weren’t aware of the long-term [risks] of concussions like we are today. So I didn’t worry about it when I played.”
No court date has been set for the latest lawsuit against the NFL.