WE WATCHED CONCUSSION WITH 70 RETIRED PLAYERS: Why, for some, the movie was a panic-inducing horror film

 WE WATCHED CONCUSSION WITH 70 RETIRED PLAYERS: Why, for some, the movie was a panic-inducing horror film

As for continuing concussion lawsuits against the NFL, those who opted out can still sue, and, theoretically, active players can eventually sue as well. The opt-outs will face the same obstacles—years of litigation, interrogative depositions, etc.—as well as the fact that the settlement has been blessed by the Court of Appeals. Regarding current players, who are not covered by the settlement, the league’s recently instituted concussion protocols and head trauma awareness initiatives will make their prospects of suing later in life far more difficult than those for players from previous eras.

And speaking of those previous eras, the settlement will put to rest—legally if not morally—a time that was, well, simply not a good look for the NFL. “League of Denial” and “Concussion,” as well as the recent exposé in The New York Times that prompted threats of a litigation by the NFL documented a time during which there certainly appeared to be obstacles in seeking the truth on this important topic. The NFL is certainly now in a much better place with regard to head safety, but it cannot ignore that previous time in its history.

The settlement, now careening towards final resolution, allows the NFL to avoid a major threat to its continued unrivaled prosperity. It avoids the potential of billions of dollars of exposure for an amount that will end up costing each team roughly $25 to $30 million, much of it covered by insurance. And the settlement, as we know, will provide no coverage for CTE and carries no admission of liability. The league’s lawyers will receive nice bonuses for this work, and the plaintiff’s lawyers will make—as per the settlement—more than $100 million without activating one deposition or paying one expert witnesses.

The hope here is that while legal liability may be extinguished, moral liability will continue to be monitored with proper diligence and vigilance.

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