An Associated Press review in November found that more than 3,800 players have sued the NFL over head injuries in at least 175 cases as the concussion issue has gained attention in recent years. The total number of plaintiffs is 6,000 when spouses, relatives and other representatives are included.
The NFL needs to care for its former players, acknowledge its decades of deception on the issue of head injuries and player safety, and make the game safer for future generations.
From Esquire, Theater of Pain:
This NFL season has been defined by people talking about “the injury issue” — pundits, columnists, league officials. The one voice you haven’t heard — until now — belongs to the players.
The reality of injury — and the phantasmagoric world of pain — is what makes it, legitimately, a blood sport.
From the Miami Herald, Jason Taylor’s pain shows NFL’s world of hurt:
We think we know this forever-growing monster we are cheering on Sundays. But we don’t. We have no earthly idea.
Jason Taylor…was just a few blessed hours from having his leg amputated. He played games, plural, with a hidden and taped catheter running from his armpit to his heart. His calf was oozing blood for so many months, from September of one year to February of another, that he had to have the equivalent of a drain installed. This is a story of the private pain endured in pursuit of public glory, just one man’s broken body on a battlefield littered with thousands of them. …death and depression and dementia addle football’s mind, persuading some of the gladiators to kill themselves as a solution to end all the pain…
From the New Yorker, Football’s Hidden Pains:
As we watch a game that we know is dangerous, we soothe ourselves with the idea that these men must be aware of the risks, too; that they are being well compensated to take on those risks; and that, at least when they’re on the field, in front of the cameras, they are living the dream that we all craved as kids, and they’re having fun.
But what we can take from this story, and from the fact that, on the surface, this weekend’s games were filled with such excitement, is the fact that so much of football’s barbarism takes place beyond our vision and behind closed doors.