The Pro Football Concussion Report

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

They still don’t know the risk.

Owners Bud Adams, Lamar Hunt and Harry Wismer, 1960  (AP)
Owners Bud Adams, Lamar Hunt and Harry Wismer, 1960 (AP)

06.21.13

“They knew the risk.” You hear it all the time. It’s in every editorial comments section following any article about the NFL concussion litigation.  Fans say it, some lawyers say it, even some players say it.

“The players know what the risks are. When I went out there to play, I knew I could get a concussion, or I could break a leg or have a knee injury.” ~ Dan Marino

Marino is almost correct. Every player, every fan and every parent knows that a player might suffer a concussion. Now if concussions were only the problem. The problem is possible longterm irreversible brain damage resulting from concussions. The risk isn’t concussions. The risk is dementia, alzheimer’s, suicide.

One of the allegations in the “concussion” lawsuits is that the NFL misrepresented, covered-up and hid information that their brain injury experts knew or learned learned that repetitive concussions could lead to significant permanent brain damage. Brain damage that later in life will change the lives of the player and his family. Mike Webster, Dave Duerson, Tom McHale and Junior Seau aren’t dead because they suffered a concussion. They are dead because they had significant brain damage that made it impossible for them to live a normal existence after football.

The longterm brain damage resulting from concussions should be pretty easy to prove in court. So will the allegation that the NFL covered up their knowledge of it. The NFL’s funded “experts” have always said vague and misleading things about the issue – they still do today. These guys still don’t admit that there’s a connection between football and longterm brain damage. They talk about proper tackling technique and computerized testing, but never the possibility of permanent brain damage. But seriously, who thinks that Roger Goodell and Bud Adams and Dr. Elliot Pellman will ever end up being cross-examined in front of a jury. They better hope not. The NFL and their experts are still pretending that they don’t know about brain damage and subsequently even today, players continue to not know the risk. Unbelievable.

 

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