This blog has written extensively about the dangers faced by football players of all ages. The constant risk of brain injuries caused by forceful, repetitive blows to the head is getting more attention these days than it did in years past, and the premature death of one of the league’s all-time greats has kept the spotlight on the issue and pressure on the league to do something.
The family of the late National Football League linebacker Junior Seau filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL recently, alleging that the league did not do enough to make players aware of the dangers of brain injuries. Seau committed suicide last year at the age of 43.
– Article By Richard Weaver
An examination of Seau’s brain after his death discovered that he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain condition caused by repeated trauma like the type he experienced during his long and storied football career.
Seau’s family said they hope the lawsuit forces the NFL to own up to the dangers of head injuries. The lawsuit says that the league has held up the violent aspects of the game while not discussing the tragic consequences of those hits. The lawsuit also names the helmet manufacturer Riddell as a defendant.
Seau’s family said that after his retirement, the linebacker was prone to bouts of insomnia, memory loss, depression and mood swings. While it’s easy to say that no one forced Seau to play professional football for 20 seasons, the league, as an employer, has a responsibility to make sure that its employees are kept reasonably safe. And it certainly had no basis to conceal the truth about brain injuries.
Source: Associated Press, “Junior Seau’s Family Sues NFL Over Brain Injuries,” Barry Wilner, Jan. 23, 2013