Today I was interviewed by Jim Richards of NewsTalk 1010 in Toronto about a new lawsuit filed against the National Football League by 75 players over alleged concealment by the league of knowledge of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
TMZ broke the story, which can be viewed at http://www.tmz.com/2011/07/19/nfl-sued-fraud-concussions-player-brain-injury-demetia-helmets-riddell/.
Tomorrow I hope to post podcast links of my Toronto radio interview. Though I know no details of this new lawsuit, it certainly outflanks the Carl Eller group’s class action for enhanced pension and disability benefits for retired players. As word leaks that the NFL and its players’ union are agreeing on a “Legacy Fund” of nearly $1 billion, Eller is indicating that his litigation will not be an impediment to the end of the NFL lockout.
This new suit takes the legal battles into obvious post-collective bargaining territory: toward the possibility that the NFL has been dishonest in processing and sharing with its employees the full magnitude of CTE research. Without casting an opinion about the strength of the new plaintiffs’ specific factual assertions, I can assure everyone that this is just the first of who knows many lawsuits NFL will find itself fending off around traumatic brain injury in particular — rather than just disability claims in general.
It is up to the two other branches of government to contribute to even broader public health investigations on behalf of amateur athletes and the rest of us. Senator Tom Udall’s New York Times-inspired probe of the Riddell helmet manufacturer ain’t chopped liver, but it’s January’s news, not tomorrow’s.