MVP Sports Channel

Disgrace: Former NFL Players Expected to Join Class Action

More than 1,000 former NFL players are expected to join a class action law suit over head injuries directed against the league, according to lawyers.  The lawyer-fication of America has found its way to the doorstep of America’s Game. Unfortunately this is the sort of thing one has come to expect from lawyers, but it is sad to see such a demonstration from the number of former players who were afforded the opportunity to make millions of dollars by the league they are now suing. Its the sort of hubris and ingratitude that is frankly a disgrace.NFL


Class action lawsuits tend to be disgraceful affairs which benefit only the lawyers who file them, in addition to the lawyers who file them, as well as the lawyers who file them.  The NFL has deep pockets, which makes them an attractive target for this sort of case, but it also gives them the ability to do what so many companies and individuals cannot when hit with this sort of litigation: defend themselves. In many cases these lawsuits are little more than a shakedown. Settle with us or end up paying your lawyers more in the effort to mount a defense. Fortunately for fans and aspiring players, the NFL has promised to mount such a defense.

It remains to be seen whether the public will be sympathetic to multimillionaires and former multimillionaires who are trying to sue the NFL for head injuries sustained while playing what we all recognize to be a dangerous game. Honorable Americans do not sue their employers because they were injured in the course of performing their duties. If the known and potential health risks of your work are so great that the compensation is insufficient, you find another job. You don’t take the pay check and then sue when it comes time to pay the piper.

What seems patently obvious in any case is that football is a violent game. Equally obvious is that head injuries and concussions are deleterious to one’s mental health. While studies may be helpful in proving this, common sense and simple observation had established it as true long ago. Boxers aren’t called “punch drunk” for no reason. We didn’t need a panel of experts to tell us that getting hit in the head is not good for your brain.

Nonetheless, in America people should have the right to partake in behaviors or professions that may pose some risk. People should be free to choose what endeavors, hobbies, and habits they want to pursue, and which ones are too risky. If successful, this lawsuit, like so many others, will take that right away from thousands of other people. NFL players like to talk about protecting the shield, but these players are besmirching it. They are spitting in the face of a game that allowed many of them to rise above their circumstances, get a college education, and provide them with millions of dollars. Football is a violent game and that violence has consequences. If they weren’t worth it to this group of players they shouldn’t have played the game. That could have been a respectable decision. It is one that many athletes we have never heard of may have made. But this decision is not worthy of respect. This is unmanly behavior that is incongruous with a free society of individuals pursuing their own interests and taking personal responsibility for their decisions and actions.

This abdication of personal responsibility is the most disappointing aspect of the actions taken by the players who have signed on for this lawsuit. Are we really expected to believe that they had no concept of the risks inherent in what they were doing and the consequences of repeated head trauma? Far more likely is that many of them are truly ignorant of the consequences of what they are doing now.

The state of California was already sued by a player who suffered injury while participating high school football. They settled for $4.9 million.  A similar case has been filed in Bozeman Montana. Perhaps state athletic commissions who sanction boxing matches? Why not the UFC? Universities with football programs won’t be far behind. How about rodeo and bull riding events? There is no end in sight, except the increased cost of sustaining sports programs across the country as a result of extra insurance costs and regulations. There is blood in the water and this feeding frenzy won’t stop until there is nothing left on the bone. If successful the outcome of these lawsuits is ultimately going to be the enrichment of a few lawyers, and the curtailment of our freedom. Whatever is potentially dangerous or hazardous may be financially unviable going forward due to the ever present risk of lawsuits.

Shame on the players who have signed on and sought to blame others for the decisions they made.

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