NFL players join forces to sue league over concussion
Published: 7th Jun 2012 22:26:24
Thousands of former American football players are suing the National Football League, alleging it hid the dangers of football-related head traumas.
The newly filed lawsuit combines more than 80 prior that seek to hold the league responsible for treatment of brain injuries and diseases.
The suit also accuses the NFL of glorifying violence through its NFL Films division.
The league has denied similar accusations in the past.
In a statement, the NFL said it was reviewing the complaint, filed on Thursday.
"The NFL has long made player safety a priority and continues to do so. Any allegation that the NFL sought to mislead players has no merit," the statement said.
The complaint alleges that for years the National Football League (NFL) "was aware of the health risks associated with repetitive blows".
I wish I could sit down with [NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell] and share with him the pain”
Strong, heavy and fast-moving American football players can generate huge force when colliding on the field of play, with helmet-to-helmet impacts common in many phases of the game.
"Despite its knowledge and controlling role in governing player conduct on and off the field, the NFL turned a blind eye to the risk and failed to warn and/or impose safety regulations governing this well-recognized health and safety problem," the complaint says.
Former running back Kevin Turner developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) after his time in the NFL. He told reporters on a conference call he hoped the legal action would push the NFL to improve its safety practices.
"I want this game to be around [in the future], to be a great sport, a sport that my own boys will be able to play and enjoy all the benefits I believe football has," Mr Turner said.
But he added that the NFL had largely ignored effect of multiple concussions and the difficulties faced by retiring players.
The NFL provides a series of medical benefits to former players, including a programme providing funding to treat dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and ALS, but does not require them to prove a connection to their football careers.
The combined lawsuit comes several months after the suicide of Junior Seau, a former San Diego Chargers player, and the 2011 suicide of former Chicago Bears star Dave Duerson.
Seau's ex-wife, Gina, told the Associated Press news agency that over the course of his 20-year football career, Seau suffered multiple concussions.
Seau's family has donated his brain for research into the effects of head trauma on football players.
Duerson's family have already filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL, and are plaintiffs on the combined suit.
One of the plaintiffs, Mary Ann Easterling, remains on the lawsuit despite the suicide of her husband former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling in April.
Ms Easterling told AP she believed the NFL had no idea what families of football players with brain injuries have to live with.
"I wish I could sit down with [NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell] and share with him the pain. It's not just the spouses, it's the kids, too," she said, referring to the behavioural problems associated with long-term brain trauma.
"Kids don't understand why Dad is angry all the time."
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. NFL players join forces to sue league over concussion [Online] (Updated 7th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1433349/NFL-players-join-forces-to-sue-league-over-concussion [Accessed 22nd Jul 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com