If you think that injuries are just part of a football player’s job, then you need to hear arguments from David Frederick, a lawyer representing players in a suit against the NFL. According to Frederick, there is much more to concussion-related brain injuries than the public knows. That’s because the NFL purposefully hid the facts about these injuries for decades.
The NFL created a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury committee in 1994 that was supposed to study the effects of head blows in players. Frederick calls this a “sham committee.” According to him, the committee has spread misinformation about the neurological risks of head trauma caused by playing aggressive football.
Other critics have argued that the NFL intentionally glorifies and profits from violence, including harsh blows to players’ heads.
The players have an interesting case against the NFL. If proven true, it could cost the league billions of dollars.
At the moment, though, no one knows for sure whether the suit will go to trial. Lawyers for the NFL argue that a collective bargaining agreement prevents players from bringing the suit to trial.
Not surprisingly, the affected players disagree. Their lawyers point out that prior to 1964, no collective bargaining agreement existed. There was also a six-year gap between 1987 and 1993, during which there was no collective bargaining agreement.
Even if the agreements prevent a lawsuit, the NFL may still have to defend itself for the years when no agreement was in place.
Currently, about 4,200 of the NFL’s former players are involved in the suit. That’s over one-third of the league’s total players.
At this time, the judge has not made a decision concerning whether the suit can go to trial. Nor has he given a timetable for when he might reach a decision.
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