Football season is upon us. The first NCAA football games will take place this weekend and the NFL regular season is set to begin on September 5. But as the football players get ready to take the field and fans across the country get ready to pack stadiums and turn on their televisions each Sunday, we must consider whether the NFL has done anything to improve the safety of the sport.
The NFL has been under much scrutiny lately for its potential role in the suicide death of Ray Easterling, Dave Deurson, and Junior Seau. An autopsy of Easterling determined that Easterling had moderately severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is progressive damage to the brain associated with repeated blows to the head and was identified as a major cause of Easterling’s depression and dementia. Last year, Dave Duerson committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest in order to spare his brain tissue, which showed evidence of CTE, for research. The cause of Junior Seau’s death remains under investigation.
The NFL has been named in at least 81 lawsuits filed by thousands of players, which accuse the NFL of failing to properly treat players for traumatic head injuries, including concussions, and tried to conceal the link between football and head injuries. The players have alleged that the NFL knew of the harmful risks associated with multiple concussions as early as the 1920s, but did not disclose this information to players until 2010.
In an article by George Will, the famed columnist writes: “accumulating evidence about new understandings of the human body — the brain, especially, but not exclusively — compel the conclusion that football is a mistake because the body is not built to absorb, and cannot be adequately modified by training or protected by equipment to absorb, the game’s kinetic energies.”
Head injuries, including concussions, are a serious medical condition that should not be overlooked or understated. An athlete who suffers a concussion is up to four times more likely to sustain a second concussion, according to neurologists. Multiple concussions can cause serious and lasting neurological consequences. When a football player returns to play before he has fully recovered from the initial concussion, the athlete is at serious risk for second impact syndrome (SIS). SIS can result in massive swelling of the brain and, in some cases, may lead to a loss of blood flow to the brain.
Athletes who have suffered multiple concussions or SIS are at an increased risk for learning difficulties and other neuropsychological difficulties, such as difficulties processing new information, difficulties concentrating, memory loss, and behavioral problems.
If you or a loved one has suffered a football head injury, contact the Chicago football head injury attorneys at Ankin Law Offices at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible cause of action to obtain compensation for football head injuries.