The Pro Football Concussion Report

A Fan's Look at Head Injuries and the Concussion Crisis in Football

The Ray Easterling Settlement Trust

Ray Easterling, 2009 (courtesy of Jeff Nixon)


Jeff Nixon’s first year in the NFL, 1979, was Ray Easterling’s last. Both had attended the University of Richmond and Nixon tells the story of when in his senior year in college, the seventh year pro Easterling came to Richmond to persuade Nixon to work out with him in preparation of his rookie season with the Bills.


Before we started working out, I thought I was in good shape, but he showed me I wasn’t even close to being in the kind of condition I needed to be in – physically, mentally and even more importantly, spiritually. Ray ran me ragged on the track, on the football field and in our cross country workouts. He made me do more than I thought I could do in the weight room. He pushed me beyond the boundaries of endurance that I set for myself. I don’t know if Ray knew how much he helped me, not only in preparing me for the game of pro football – but in preparing me for the game of life.

Nixon shot a little video the last time he saw Ray Easterling, at a 2009 function honoring the all-time University of Richmond football team. In it, Easterling corrects Nixon on the details of the workout from 30 years earlier. Only 3 years after the charming video was shot, Easterling would take his life  because of an unwillingness to live with or put his family through the increasing effects of his dementia. In honor, Nixon suggests naming the NFL concussion settlement, the Ray Easterling Settlement Trust, or R.E.S.T.

Whatever the fund is called, these true stories of  former NFL players told one at a time by family and friends on the inside are almost too much to bear.



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