Photo: AP Images
Ex-football players lodged a massive lawsuit Thursday claiming the NFL was responsible for the brain damage of thousands of players.Here are the seven most surprising allegations:
- The NFL launched a committee in 1994 to probe mild traumatic brain injuries. While the league promoted that panel as as “independent,” five of its members had NFL ties, the suit said.
- Even the committee’s head, Elliot Pellman, was a paid New York Jets trainer and a rheumatologist who didn’t specialize in concussions, the suit said.
- In 2003, New York Jets player Wayne Chrebet had a concussion that knocked him out for several minutes. Pellman quickly checked him out and sent him back into the game, telling him it was important for his career, the suit said.
- Contrary to most medical research, the suit stated, the NFL’s committee revealed that concussed players who returned to game were at no risk increased risk of brain injury.
- A scientist that reviewed the committee’s work said the NFL seemed to be “preparing a defence for when injured players eventually sued,” the suit said.
- And the NFL itself eventually admitted that the data collected under its initial leadership was “infected,” the suit stated.
- The NFL has profited from its injuries by making films featuring blows to its own players, the suit said. The back of one of those films states, “Suddenly you’re down, and you’re looking through your helmet’s ear hole. Pain? That’s for tomorrow morning. Right now you’ve gotta focus – focus on the play and try not to focus on the next moment of impact.”
For its part, the NFL says that it’s making players’ safety a priority.
“The NFL has long made player safety a priority and continues to do so. Any allegation that the NFL sought to mislead players has no merit,” the NFL stated. “It stands in contrast to the league’s many actions to better protect players and advance the science and medical understanding of the management and treatment of concussions.”
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