The world of sports is filled with injuries many from hard hits to the head causing concussions. The sports world has been very busy lately addressing lawsuits, putting together committees and discussing various rule changes. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy says “The NFL and its clubs have long made player safety a priority and continue to do so.”(Morelli pg2) But is this the complete truth. Concussions are a very serious occurrence in the sports world today. Concussions don’t always involve being hit and then knocked out like most people think. A concussion occurs when a mental status changes as a result of trauma to the head. For most athletes symptoms can disappear after ten days and most often less than a couple months. Some cases have been worse and players have had to deal with pathological problems for the rest of their lives.
There are many athletes who have suffered concussions. Chicago Bears Jimmie Giles tells the Tampa Tribune in 2010 “that he suffered a dozen concussions while playing professional football. At the time, he said he would not have played the game if he had known the physical consequences.” (Morelli)Giles has had numerous body injuries and also neurological injuries such as memory loss. Giles says he had to quit his job as an accountant due to black outs. He said one day at work he couldn’t even understand where he was at.
Another player whose life has been changed after injury is Aaron Sears. Sears was a Bucs offensive lineman from 2007 to 2009. Sears got involved with the police and was charged with battery on an officer. After that Sears never showed up to his court dates and had warrants out for his arrest. These actions all led up to Sears being incarcerated. Since being released from jail, Sears was diagnosed with various neurological conditions and numerous symptoms related to head trauma. Sears has almost lost all functioning of his body and needs someone to take care of him all day every day. (Morelli pg3)
Since Giles and Sears, there have been many more suffering ex athletes. Giles, Sears and about two thousand former NFL players have filed a lawsuit against the league on January 31st 2012. A multidistrict federal judicial panel approved six cases to be tried together in Philadelphia within a year. (Keating, Head cases pg 2) The lawsuit alleges that the league deliberately and fraudulently concealed the risk of long term brain damages from concussions. The players are seeking financial compensation for fraud and negligence. The lawsuit is still open for other players to join. The lawsuit is also targeting football helmet maker Riddell Inc. and Easton-Bell Sports Inc. “Former players complain precautions against brain injury have only been implemented in recent years and that players from decades past were exposed to long term neurological injuries as a result of repeated impacts, sometimes returning to play in the same game after suffering concussions.” (Fox,News pg 2)
“The NFL must open its eyes to the consequences of its actions” said Kevin Turner a former running back battling injury. “The NFL has the power not only to give former players the care they deserve, but also to ensure that future generations of football players do not suffer the way that many in my generation have.”(Fox,News pg 2). The lawsuit filed accuses the NFL of mythologizing or encouraging the violence of the sport through commercials and even video games. Despite its knowledge and role in player conduct, the NFL turned their backs on the risks, and failed to warn players of the effects or create better safety for players. (News, Fox pg 1) Since 1994 the NFL has created a committee to protect and support the health and safety of the players due to concussion related injuries and not knowing the true effects associated with them. The committee is made up of independent experts in fields relevant to the injuries. These committees test equipment and also do various studies. Some...