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Game action in Pittsburgh during a Pittsburgh Steelers (black/yellow) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (white/red) National Football League game on December 3, 2006. Players depicted include: (Steelers #99) Brett Keisel; (Steelers #51) James Farrior; (Steelers #2
There's been widespread concern that the $765 million concussion settlement between the NFL and 18,000 retired players would not be enough to cover all the injured players—concern that is now being echoed by a federal judge:
U.S. District Judge Anita Brody has asked for more financial details from the parties, a week after players’ lawyers filed a lengthy payout plan. [...]

She says she is mostly concerned that not all retired players who are someday diagnosed with a related brain injury will be paid.

Sadly, it's a fair concern.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 10:31 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This will no doubt eventually turn out similar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to the asbestos ligation where billions of $$s have gone to lawyers with lesser amounts actually making to the victims.

    In this case, it's possible the football maybe over within the foreseeable future, so the players probably had the insight to take what they could get, even though it's clearly not enough.

    •  The issue seems to be (12+ / 0-)

      that we don't know how many players are ultimately affected -- what about players that didn't sign on to the original lawsuit because they didn't know they had damage? Sometimes it can take years to show up, long after the player has retired -- just because they didn't know doesn't mean they should be left out in the cold. I think that's what the judge is saying.

      What might happen is a deal to invest the money in some sort of annuity, so claims can be paid out of that and hopefully money will be remaining for future claims. Not sure how they'll determine how much to pay; whether it'll be based on number of years in the league, severity of the damage, and such...and how much for the survivors of those who committed suicide due to traumatic brain injury.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 10:44:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hopefully it won't be too long before they're (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cocinero, WakeUpNeo, nellgwen

        able to diagnose this in "real time" (or maybe the term I want to use is something like "non-invasively in living people").

        Then at least there should be a better sense of the size of the problem to be expected over time.

        •  If I'm not mistaken that day has arrived (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roadbed Guy

          where they can examine the brain before someone dies.
          There are several good video on You Tube about this.
            But I do agree that as it stands football as it exists today is not tenable for very long. Something has got to change, and if it doesn't, the mothers of boys and girls in high school will make it change.
            There are several things the NFL can do, one is to take away all the protective gear that has turned into weapons. Another is for the teams to use their money more wisely. As in have more players on a team for the most vulnerable positions.

          Florida The Worst State. The Daily Show

          by nellgwen on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 10:29:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, current brain imaging technologies (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            are not capable of diagnosing CTE in a living person (or Alzheimer's and similar disorders for that matter).

            While abnormalities can be detected (by methods such as fMRI), they are not seen in all people with a particular disorder and conversely, not all people with a certain abnormality exhibit the "expected" behavioral or neurological affects.

            •  Like I say I may be mistaken (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy

              but it I'll have to check.

              Florida The Worst State. The Daily Show

              by nellgwen on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 10:48:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, I'm not sure what's on YouTube . . . (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                probably some not-too-thoroughly-vetted material I'm thinking (heck, a site that allows Celine Dion cd's is pretty much going to allow * anything * !!)

                For whatever it's worth, here's an article from the New York Times about Alzheimer's (which has been studied much more extensively than CTE, and yet still cannot be diagnosed by live brain imaging).

                •  Well I don't know how vetted this material is but (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Roadbed Guy

                  I found this.
                  After I watched League of Denial I went on You Tube and found other videos of people talking about how they can now diagnose the problem in living people. But of course now I can't find them.

                  Florida The Worst State. The Daily Show

                  by nellgwen on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 11:32:42 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thanks for looking that up, but what the guy (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    is saying is rather wishy washy . .  as is typical:

                    Tony Dorsett, a Hall of Fame running back, is reportedly one of three former living NFL players to be diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

                    ESPN "Outside The Lines" reported Tuesday that Dorsett, 59, former offensive lineman Joe DeLamielleure, 62, and defensive end Leonard Marshall, 52, underwent brain scans and other tests for the past three months at UCLA. They were diagnosed with having signs of the disease that typically can only be definitively diagnosed through autopsies of the brains.

                    CTE is a degenerative brain disease found in deceased athletes who have a history of repeated head trauma, including concussions or blows to the head. The brain scans show physical damage usually seen in much older individuals with Alzheimer's, including the telltale plaque buildup of proteins called tau and tangled nerve cells.

                    People confirmed to have the disease in autopsy were . . ..  


                    Basically, if this was litigated in court and the NFL was trying to dispute CTE diagnoses in living persons based on this level of evidence, they'd have a rather easy time (although circumstantially if a player has all the symptoms and corresponding brain abnormalities, common sense makes it a reasonable extrapolation that yes, he (or she) does have CTE).

                •  I could not find the specific videos (0+ / 0-)

                  and I'm tired of looking, but I found this.
                  CTE found in living ex-NFL players - -
                  I was hoping to do a link but it didn't work.
                  I found some other articles online as well.
                  Things are happening.
                     And when the people who are for whatever reason propping up the status quo find out the extent to this and how no one is safe no matter what position you play, and when maybe their own kids or kids in general are being diagnosed with this right and left,  they will as my mother would say, "Get their feelings hurt."
                    And when football is no longer cool on college campus's...There is a journalist and author named Malcolm Gladwell who is all over this. He calls for people to boycott college football.
                    And when football moms stop being football moms, that the whole ball game.

                  Florida The Worst State. The Daily Show

                  by nellgwen on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:57:58 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  I've always felt the amount is too low (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I can't speak to the issue of lawyer's fees. OP may be right, but even if there are no fees included it's not enough. $765 million sounds like a lot of money, but it's just $42,500 averaged over the 18,000 players included in the settlement. That's not a lot for someone facing the rest of their life with a brain injury.

        To put it another way: would you take $42,500 in compensation for a lifetime of migraines, blurred vision, slurred or impaired speech, partial paralysis, and memory loss? I sure wouldn't, and I don't have two nickels to rub together.

        Reforms come from below. No man with four aces howls for a new deal.
        Keystone XL will raise gas prices!

        by Turbonerd on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:19:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't see it being over. (6+ / 0-)

      Changed, yes.  Equipment improvements definitely.  I just don't see any way this country's most popular game is going to end.

    •  i like (0+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Hidden by:
      such sweet thunder

      you make $27 per hour good for you! I make up to $85 per hour working from home. My story is that I quit working at shoprite to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $45 per hour to $85 per hour heres a good example of what I'm doing more detail here....

  •  I just listened to League of Denial (13+ / 0-)

    audiobook.  Absolutely stunning.   I highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the game.

    It's really sad what is happening to so many of the great players that once played in the NFL and how little concern the NFL showed them.

  •  I love football. (13+ / 0-)

    I've loved it for 40 years.

    I look forward to Sunday's championship games.

    That said, it's hard to watch it now without cringing a little because the reality is that helmet-to-helmet contact happens on every single play.

    Football is no longer defensible.

    It's sport porn.

    And the NFL better pony up way more than $765 million to compensate the folks who made football a multibillion-dollar enterprise.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 11:25:19 AM PST

    •  Talk about cringing,I watched "Friday Night Tykes" (7+ / 0-)

      on demand last night. (It debuts at 9 tonight on the Esquire channel.) It's about some teams in the Texas Youth Football Association. I think the kids are elementary-aged kids. It was awful watching the hits. I'm sitting there thinking the parents need to be reported to the authorities for child abuse. I don't understand it.

      I think it's going to happen pretty quickly that moms are going to effectively put an end to youth football. Perceptions and common knowledge are going to change and moms will not want to be seen as letting their kids recklessly engage in such a dangerous activity with the potential for devastating and lasting consequences.

      •  Also check out "Stone Phillips Reports" online... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wa ma, Pluto, BenderRodriguez, nellgwen

        See story with video:

        Hard Hits, Hard Numbers:The First Study of Head Impacts in Youth Football

        In a groundbreaking study, researchers at Virginia Tech placed instrumented helmets on 7 and 8-year-old football players and collected data on more than 750 hits to the head over the course of a season.

        The findings provide the first quantitative assessment of the acceleration and risk that young brains are exposed to in youth football.

        Lead researcher, Stefan Duma, a professor of Biomedical Engineering, has been gathering data on head impacts among college players at Virginia Tech for nine seasons.  In his new study, he reports some head impacts in youth football equal in force to some of the bigger hits he sees at the college level. “Nobody expected to see hits of this magnitude,” says Duma...

        (Some emphasis added.)

      •  I watched all five seasons of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wa ma, nellgwen

        …"Friday Night Lights" -- in a streaming binge. I got completely hooked, knowing the entire time that it was sending a twisted message to Usians about what sports are all about. And the mentality of team sports fans -- like nationalism -- was truly pathetic to behold. But it does explain our never-ending international murder sprees, like Afghanistan, for example.

  •  Dancing is a contact sport, football is a violent (4+ / 0-)

    sport. To quote the late Duffy Daugherty.

    Sadly, it's not just head injuries. It's knees, hips, ribs, backs, and more. Violent collisions cause damage, especially to

    As the players get bigger and faster, this becomes more true. It's not about rules and equipment, it's about physics. A 230 pound safety running full speeds hits you, it hurts. And probably, repetitively certainly, causes potentially serious lifelong injuries. If you are also running full speed, even worse.

    I remember John Madden several years ago commenting that playing just one season (game, down? Can't remember) in the NFL caused some permanent injury, hopefully minor.

    Padding and rules changes help. Culture changes would help, too. But they will never eliminate the violent nature of the game. Or the physics. Not without seriously changing the way the game is played.

    I hope i am wrong, because i love football. If football, all football, can find a way to eliminate serious injuries, great. 100 years ago football faced even more serious injury problems. Players were getting killed. Teddy Roosevelt pushed, prodded, and facilitated reforms to rules and governance. Out of all that came a very different game (forward pass anyone? ) and the NCAA; and football began its long march to the top of the American sports world.

    Time for some equally creative, and effective, thinking.

    Peace on Earth was all it said.

    by BobBlueMass on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 12:30:39 PM PST

  •  Major question: Who knew what, and when? (5+ / 0-)

    In addition to concerns about whether the proposed settlement will fairly compensate past and future players affected by brain trauma, many are also concerned that the settlement will prevent disclosure of what the NFL knew, and when, about the dangers inherent in the game. Did any NFL executives and their team doctors and trainers actively hide the truth about concussions, much like tobacco executives did about the health hazards of smoking?

    Brain Injury Association of America Files Response in NFL Motion


    BIAA continues efforts to aid court in assessing fairness of proposed settlement

    VIENNA, VA –The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) filed a response to the plaintiffs’ opposition to BIAA participating as amicus curiae (friend of the court) on the proposed settlement between the National Football League (NFL) and former players now before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

    BIAA filed the original motion on December 17, 2013. On December 31, 2013, attorneys representing the players filed an opposition to the motion, arguing that it was premature because the settlement terms were not yet public and that the court had already appointed a Special Master in the case to assist in “evaluating the financial aspects of the proposed settlement” due to the “financial complexities involved.”

    In the response, BIAA noted that the terms of the settlement were made public on January 6, 2014, making the prematurity argument inapplicable. BIAA also noted that while the Special Master is well equipped to assist the court with assessing the complex financial arrangements in the settlement, BIAA’s deep understanding of the disease-causative and disease-accelerative nature of brain injury, as well as the episodic and long-term treatment and support needs of patients and family caregivers, will aid the court in evaluating questions of neuroscience and public health as they relate to the injury compensation and education funds...

    BIAA Requests Access to Documents to Assist Court in Evaluating NFL Settlement

    The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has filed a motion in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to participate as amicus curiae (friend of the court) on the proposed settlement between the National Football League (NFL) and former players.

    BIAA, which was founded in 1980, is the nation’s oldest and largest brain injury advocacy organization. Its mission is to advance the causes of brain injury prevention, research, treatment, and education, and to improve the quality of life for all individuals affected by brain injury.

    The motion was filed because the outcome of the proposed NFL settlement is likely to have an impact on similar lawsuits brought on behalf of other classes of brain injury victims, as well as future prevention, research, and treatment of the injury. If the motion is granted, BIAA will review the proposed settlement (once it is received by the court) and comment on its fairness...

    Follow above links for further discussion of questions about the proposed settlement and to download related court documents.
  •  Keith Olbermann discussed (5+ / 0-)

    the court ruling with Peter King (the good-guy NFL writer, not the asshole Congressman) on his show tonight:

    There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by Cali Scribe on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 07:13:52 PM PST

  •  they need to redesign the helmet (6+ / 0-)

    its being used as a tool and offensive "weapon" for big hits.  This super solid bowling ball strapped on your head has to go.   Need more of bicycle type helmet.  Cushions blows, but does not and can not deal them.

  •  USian Football: RIP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Cannot happen soon enough.

    And the brain damage is the least of it. It's the cultural meme of an empire circling the drain.

    Men's figure skating, OTOH… signifies the emergence of the gods.

    •  This 19 year old won a spot at Sochi on Sunday. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moviemeister76, miango113, nellgwen

      Announcers pointed out that Jason Brown wasn't much of a jumper, like some of this competition, but the skater's slow, methodical movements proved to be only his warmup.

      Before he had even finished, the entire audience was on its feet going wild.

      Will he bring home an Olympic Medal in February?

      •  Wow (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto, ER Doc

        That kid is incredible.

        Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

        by moviemeister76 on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 07:47:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Masculinity (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto, nellgwen

        there are so many different ways to express power, endurance, precision, determination and beauty ... without requiring intentional and directed violence towards others. Thanks for this video.

        But let's face it- we live in a culture which glorifies violence and destruction. From MMA to football to hockey and a great many sports in-between, America clearly elevates the blood sport of causing damage to humans above any other consideration-save money. Money is the cement of this chthonic culture.

        Fans fuel the carnage. Fans feed at the trough of blood sports- knowing all the while that they support the bringers of pain and damage. For one cannot exist without the other. And still there are games and accidents and brutality for which we scream "more! More!"

        Cue commercial.

        "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others". –George Orwell

        by crescentdave on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 09:36:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Very well done. (0+ / 0-)

        He'll make life rough for a lot of skaters I would imagine.

        Florida The Worst State. The Daily Show

        by nellgwen on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 10:59:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Watching gladiators fight to the death (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zinger99, Pluto, WakeUpNeo, nellgwen

    was a popular spectator sport in Roman times. Has society really advanced much in 1900 years? Football is a demolition derby, but it's not as bad as boxing or ultimate fighting.

  •  I'm a huge sports fan (5+ / 0-)

    I grew up watching football with my dad. But when I read about the issue with concussions a few years ago, I had to stop. I just can't justify being entertained by men who will suffer so much later.

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 07:49:27 PM PST

  •  this judge (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    has done what the players were incapable of doing, your honor you are the bomb!

  •  My concern has always been... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WakeUpNeo, nellgwen

    ...that this is only a fraction of sports related concussions. The incidence rate of concussion is higher in women's collegiate soccer than collegiate football according to a handful of studies. Do we only focus on the NFL because there's a big and visible pot of money involved? I contend that the NFL is not the only "pot of money" that should be "disturbed" here.

    Frankly ALL the Major Pro Sports should be impacted to start with, and the net of responsibility should be cast even wider very soon after. This is a very broad health issue, not just a "sin" of the NFL.

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 11:57:33 PM PST

    •  I agree with you. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Concussions are a problem in all sports for both male and female.
        The difference, or what makes football different is it's not just the concussion. it's the many concussions over time without the proper healing.
        With football it's the shake it off, give me a shot, man up mentality that is also a huge factor.
        My thing is do rugby players have these problems?
        And were older players like say from the 30's, 40's and 50's saddled with these concussions. If the answer is no then it must be a circumstance of our technology that's causing the problems, not the game itself.

      Florida The Worst State. The Daily Show

      by nellgwen on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 11:11:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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