NFL is Deaf from Too Many Concussion Lawsuits

Oct 19, 2012


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The concussion tsunami is building as more retired players continue to add to the wave of lawsuits even as more and more coverage is given to the issue in the mainstream media. All this as football season is in full swing. Over the last five years that we’ve been posting news on this blog, most of the media would drop everything and football would be front and center on all coverage. But it seems this year, there’s been so much negative press on the NFL that it’s hard to miss all the news coming out almost daily on concussions and brain injuries. And instead of putting any attention to the concussion issues of retired players, the League is more focused on Bountygate and $30 million donations to the NIH to keep studying the effects of brain injuries. So here are a few more recent articles including a very informative piece on some of the lingering myths about concussions that everyone should read.
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Is it just us or are we getting close to a tipping point?
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Uncovering Concussions

How They’re Changing Our Brains and the Game

by Carroll Cole
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It’s nearly kickoff. Families and friends nationwide gather around the television and bundle up in stadiums and bleachers. They cheer on their sons and sports heroes as they battle over the holy pigskin. Bright lights illuminate sweat-drenched and grass-stained soldiers in their armored uniforms as they crouch, white-knuckled, ready to attack. The terrific clash of helmets off the scrimmage line rings through the air, titillating the fans. This is football. It’s exciting and unifying. It’s a modern-day, quasi-gladiator scene in which athletes showcase brute strength, resilience and loyalty to team, and rise up against the odds. It’s downright American. It’s also dangerous; much more so than many think—because of concussions—a startlingly complex and serious injury, once thought to be just part of the game.
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Read the rest of this article by clicking HERE.
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Concussions hit home: Myths and misconceptions

By Julie Mack
on October 9, 2012
KALAMAZOO, MI — A Boston physician who is a nationally recognized expert in treating sports-related head injuries says there are plenty of misconceptions about concussions.

Dr. Robert Cantu writes about the myths in his new book, “Concussions and Our Kids: America’s Leading Expert on How to Protect Young Athletes and Keep Sports Safe.”
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Cantu is chief of neurosurgery and director of sports medicine at Emerson Hospital in Boston, as well as clinical professor of neurosurgery and co-director of Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. He also serves an adviser to the National Football League.
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Below are Cantu’s list of myths:
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Read the rest of this article by clicking HERE.
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And SLATE has been into their second year of conducting a season-long roundtable on football with partner DeadSpin and one of the topics includes traumatic brain injuries:
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NFL 2012

“Mild” concussions, magical helmets, and other ways football lies to itself.

From: |Posted Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012
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To: , , , and
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For the second year in a row, Slate and Deadspin are teaming up for a season-long NFL roundtable. Check back here each week as a rotating cast of football watchers discusses the weekend’s key plays, coaching decisions, and traumatic brain injuries. And click here to play the latest episode of Slate’s sports podcast Hang Up and Listen.
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The case of Jordan Pugh is a clear example of how the rules-obsessed NFL is still nowhere near a coherent, loophole-free policy on what should happen when a player suffers a head injury during a game. Despite years now of scientific discoveries, health warnings, rules changes, and suicides, the culture of the league isn’t changing fast enough either. Consider the case of Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas. And let’s consider it via this story from the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.:
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“Daniel Thomas became the punch line of helmet jokes on Tuesday.”
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Because the linebackers filled his helmet with Icy Hot? Because the tight ends drew a Hitler mustache on the leaping dolphin?
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“Upon the tailback’s return from his second concussion in five weeks, the Miami Dolphins players mocked Thomas for how big his new helmet is.”
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Read the rest of this article by clicking HERE.
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“Shaken up on the play”: The semantic loopholes that allow the NFL to survive its concussion crisis.

From: |Posted Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012
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To: , , and
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For the second year in a row, Slate and Deadspin are teaming up for a season-long NFL roundtable. Check back here each week as a rotating cast of football watchers discusses the weekend’s key plays, coaching decisions, and traumatic brain injuries. And click here to play the latest episode of Slate’s sports podcast Hang Up and Listen.
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Robert Griffin III didn’t just run and pass the Washington Redskins to a victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. He also became the poster boy for NFL player safety. Just a week before, Griffin was on the field face down after being hit by Atlanta Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. When team doctors discovered that the quarterback couldn’t remember the quarter or the score, they diagnosed him with a concussion and forced him to leave the game. Griffin returned to practice after passing his concussion tests and was permitted to play in Week 6 when he was cleared by a team physician and an independent neurologist, as the league’s rules require.
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This was the NFL’s new safety protocol at its best. RG3′s nationally televised concussion was diagnosed correctly and handled responsibly. As the NFL Players Association’s medical director Thom Mayer explained to me, “They did the right thing medically, and it turns out it was the right thing to do competitively.”
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Read the rest of this article by clicking HERE.
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4 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. David Hall
    October 19th, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    David Hall

    Dave,

    So grateful for your blog. YES, this TIPPING POINT is soon upon us.

    Mark your calendars for next MAY in DC. We’re putting together a DC-sized rally for Brain INJURED athletes and Veterans.

    We need to rally the troops for the tipping point celebration: May 26, 2013.

    Save the DATE.

    David Hall
    Harch HyperBarics

  2. Dave Pear
    October 19th, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    Dave Pear

    Maybe the Union is planning to do another $10 million study (like the NFL) with some of the money they stole from retired players in the last CBA negotiations?

    What about the illegal disability debacle in the NFL?

    Unlike the rest of Corporate America, the NFL still does not admit or recognize head injuries on the football field as a disability.

    The only justice retired players with head injuries will receive is in the courtroom in front of a judge and a jury.

    Here’s another good story that just came out today: click to read NFL, union try to change culture on concussions

    Best,
    Dave Pear

  3. Gordon&Glendora Wright
    October 20th, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    Gordon Wright - NY Jets

    The Concussion Lawsuits remind me of the agent orange Vietnam Vet issue. I believe it will yield the same results. This is why Gordon A. Wright refused to be part of that Lawsuit.

    Gordon Wright
    Philadelphia Eagles & New York Jets
    1967 – 1970

  4. RobertinSeattle
    October 20th, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    RobertinSeattle

    The concussion situation is actually becoming more and more like the Vietnam Vet story with each passing day, Gordon. And it happens to our other military vets as well in applying for their earned benefits. In fact, the origin of that ‘Delay, Deny and Hope We Die’ slogan had it roots from the Vietnam Vet era and applies aptly to the football veterans of today as well.

    Nearly 50 years after the Vietnam War, the VA has been quietly acknowledging the long-term damages of Agent Orange both on and off the battlefield. Unfortunately, all too many of these vets have now succumbed to the awful damage that this evil chemical has wreaked on everyone. I know this because I have come across vets who have been granted benefits in the past couple of years who were diagnosed as suffering from the aftereffects on their bodies and minds. And recently, the VA has even put out a list of military cargo carriers which were used to transport this deadly chemical to the war zones in Vietnam. Any military personnel who were on board those ships carrying Agent Orange have now also been included on the lists of those who can apply for benefits.

    Last year, the US government also began to pay compensation for some of the cleanup in agricultural areas of Vietnam where this toxic poison was used to destroy the crops and vegetation and poison the population. There are well over 250,000 documented still-births as well as countless deformed children and reports of cancer and respiratory problems among the Vietnamese. The devastation is unbelievable and the unintended consequences are still coming back to haunt us on our own shores.

    I’m passionate about this issue because it directly affect so many of my own friends and family and it’s one perfect example of how the people in charge lied and stonewalled those who served until most of them were either dead or too tired to fight for themselves any longer. That fight lasted nearly five decades. And that is why we continue to push for the justice that all retired football players deserve.

    Sadly, we can also compare the NFL concussion issue to the tobacco industry and their endless years of denial of the damage caused by smoking their cigarettes. We can only hope that more of you might reconsider your positions – if not for yourself, then for your families’ sake – before it’s too late.