Five former NFL players, including six-time Pro Bowl defensive end Neil Smith, are suing the union for not providing accurate information about the risk of head injuries.
The lawsuit on behalf of Smith, Ladell Betts, Anthony Davis, Christian Ballard and Gregory Westbrooks was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, with the plaintiffs claiming the NFL Players Association “withheld information from the players about the risks of head injuries.”
The former players are seeking medical monitoring and financial compensation for long-term chronic injuries, financial losses, expenses and intangible losses. It refers to the “pathological and debilitating effects of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) caused by concussive and sub-concussive impacts.”
The players named former union presidents Trace Armstrong, Troy Vincent and Kevin Mawae in the suit.
“This lawsuit has no merit and we will defend our union and our past presidents,” the NFLPA said in a statement.
● VIKINGS: The team will suspend special teams coordinator Mike Priefer without pay for three games this season and donate $100,000 to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights groups, in response to former punter Chris Kluwe’s allegations of anti-gay slurs and taunts made by Priefer.
The Vikings released a summary of the investigation by outside lawyers that was initiated in January, when Kluwe first accused Priefer and other Vikings officials of punishing him for his support of gay marriage. Kluwe was let go last year, which he argued was because of his views.
The Vikings said Priefer’s ban could be reduced to two games at their discretion, provided he attends individualized anti-harassment, diversity and sexual-orientation sensitivity training.
● BILLS: Three people who have reviewed documents concerning the sale of the team said a Toronto group that includes rocker Jon Bon Jovi is an interested buyer.
The three people spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the process is private and the Toronto group has not revealed its intentions.
The group includes Larry Tanenbaum and the Rogers family.
● 49ERS: A judge sentenced linebacker Aldon Smith to three years of probation and to spend 11 days with a work crew after he pleaded no contest to drunken driving and assault-weapons charges. The sentence came after the Santa Clara County (Calif.) Superior County judge reduced the weapons charges to misdemeanors, noting that the football star has no criminal record involving violence.