Rick Maese has a good piece about the NFL head trauma lawsuits being filed by retired players; there are “more than 85 suits involving more than 2,000 former players,” which will soon be turned into a master complaint that “essentially coalesces all of the claims — from negligence and fraud to wrongful death and civil conspiracy — into a single document.”
Later in the piece, Maese raises some of the natural concerns about this sudden surge of legal action.
So many have piled on that dozens of ex-players are inexplicably named in more than one suit. And some lawyers were in such a hurry to file, they cut-and-pasted other casework and forgot to change biographical data to match their clients.
Players insist this isn’t a money grab. Their goal isn’t simply restitution; they want change.
Now, I’m no lawyer. But former Redskins great Gary Clark recently discussed the litigation on ESPN 980’s Sports Reporters, and he offered up an interesting reason for possibly joining in. (Find audio here.)
“I think a lot of guys have joined the lawsuit, for a couple reasons,” he said. “Some, because they truly believe in the suit. And others, because you just always support your teammates, former teammates and the guys that are playing now. It’s a big brotherhood. And I’m sure I’ll join the suit as well, just because it’s a brotherhood. You take care of your own. You just have to. It’s just what it is.”
Andy Pollin, one of the hosts, asked Clark if he’s feeling effects from the head shots suffered as a player.
“I wouldn’t say that I’m feeling effects, but you know the effects are there,” he said. “Any time your bell is rung, quote unquote, and you don’t know where you are for a period of five seconds to 10 seconds, it definitely is gonna affect you. But also it’s a part of the game. I understand that’s a part of the game, but I like that they’re trying to take precautions, to watch out for the players and take care of the players. But in the same breath, I understand it’s part of the game.”
Then Pollin asked Clark what feels differently in his body than it did 20 years ago, besides the normal aches and pains.
“Typically that’s it, typically the same aches and pains I felt at 30 I still feel now,” he said. “You get arthritic really early in your career, that’s just part of it....I am glad that they’re taking precautions to watch out for the players, because you don’t want for whatever reason a player going into depression, for whatever reasons a player taking his life. You don’t want those things to happen to the next generation of players.”