The Times West Virginian

Z_CNHI News Service

September 4, 2013

NFL concussion settlement no victory for safety

(Continued)

At the heart of the issue is safety. Identifying the problem is easy. Developing scientific-based solutions to the problem is not. It’s hard to fathom that the settlement does anything to reassure players that they are safer once they step on the field. They aren’t.

The NFL has a responsibility not only to its players but also to the tens of thousands suiting up on Saturdays for their college teams, those representing their high schools on Friday nights or young ones giving it their first shot in a pee-wee league game. They all dream of making a big play someday, but none give thought of delivering a blow or receiving one that could lead to leaving a player susceptible to Parkinson’s disease or worse.

Where will the game be then?

Injuries and deaths are leading to an increase in lawsuits, and juries are awarding significant judgments. Just a few months ago, a partially paralyzed high school player in Colorado was awarded an $11.1 million judgment against the school district and Riddell, the country’s largest football helmet manufacturer. In San Diego, the school district agreed to pay a former player $4.4 million when he sustained a brain injury.

ESPN writer Gregg Easterbrook said these multimillion-dollar awards – and others that are sure to follow -- place school systems in legal quicksand that has the potential to drag the sport under. If insurance costs become prohibitive, how could football at the prep level survive? It won’t.

Whether it’s dealing with injuries or the costs associated with the sport, solutions to pressing medical problems must be resolved and done so quickly. To those in the National Football League, the concussion settlement emits a stench amounting to nothing more than a realization about the cost of doing business. The question that looms larger is whether football as a business can survive its own shortsightedness.

Tom Lindley is a sports columnist for the CNHI News Service. Reach him at tlindley@cnhi.com.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • Rodden, Danny.jpg Sheriff accused of lying about relationship with prostitute

    The sheriff of Clark County, Ind., faces an eight-count federal indictment that accuses him of lying about paying a prostitute for a sex act and giving her a badge so that she could claim a discount rate at a hotel.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads