NFL vs NHL: Comparing Concussions & Coverups

Retired NFL player Shawn Stuckey (New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) has been practicing law for many years since he left his football career. Shawn had been involved with the earlier NFL concussion lawsuits and has also been representing players from the NHL recently. Here’s a short interview earlier today on ESPN’s OTL talking about his client, NHL enforcer Mike Peluso (Chicago Blackhawks, Ottawa Senators, New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames) and the NHL’s blatant coverup.

Sound familiar?

The REAL NFL: As Only a Widow Can Tell It

Grant Feasel – Seattle Seahawks

Another all-too-familiar story on the long-term impact of concussions. Over the years, we’ve chronicled so many stories of the damage not only to the players but on their families during and after their careers in football. And – as always – the general lack of empathy and support from the League and its owners. Once you’re gone, you’re history.

Most of you know that football has never really been high on my list of priorities. But as I got more involved with the retired players and the fight for their earned benefits over the years, I was in absolute disbelief as an outsider at the complete disregard for the survival of those older players who need help the most. As a non-fan, I heard so many sad stories from senior players of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s era who were actually paid very little to help build this sport into the $13 billion industry it is today (and still growing). And even today, the majority of fans still have no idea that this continues for most of these older players (one more reason the NFL never wanted the concussion lawsuit to go to trial).

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ve seen the endless stories and documentation of how most of these men have been given absolutely no benefits for their sacrifices to the sport they loved. And at one of our Conferences, we even had a panel of wives (and ex-wives) who talked about the never-ending battles against a greedy employer who has done everything to fight and deny legitimate applications for their disability and pension benefits (from back in 2013 – click HERE to read and watch). And it wasn’t just the League; even their union, the NFLPA – especially in the Upshaw years – helped to make sure that nearly 95% of retired players were historically denied those earned benefits. Denials may have dropped to 90% under current PA Executive Director deMaurice Smith but the majority of retired players are still left on their own, from years of working in what is probably one of the most physically-demanding jobs in America. If it was any other job – construction, mining, firefighting – you know their union would have stood up for them.

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Matt Chaney: ‘Safe’ Football Failed in 1880s, Talking Points Lived On

Our friend, Matt Chaney, continues to document the long history of football (and concussions) with this detailed piece on how the coverup on injuries has been going on since the 1800’s! Some serious reading for the holidays!

‘Safe’ Football Failed in 1880s, Talking Points Lived On



Copyright ©2016 for historical arrangement

American football ‘experts’ developed timeless promises for preventing injuries 130 years ago but failed, repeatedly, to solve anything

Brutality of American football was under control and diminishing, game leaders declared by the late 1880s. Problems of injury and “slugging” were basically resolved, winnowed down to isolated incidents through a decade of reform efforts, they said.

Football advocates agreed. “The game is as safe as any outdoor game can well be… in the larger colleges,” wrote Alexander Johnston, Princeton professor and football booster. Johnston’s how-to football article for Century Illustrated Magazine in 1887 was complemented with artist renderings of Foul Tackle and Fair Tackle for instructive contrast. “With good physical condition in the players, the requisite training, and suitable grounds, the game is not only one of the best of outdoor sports, but one of the safest,” Prof. Johnston assured readers.

College football leadership amounted to a few young men, some playing yet. They said problems were resolved after multiple “reform” efforts. Rule-makers for the Intercollegiate Football Association now exercised “almost sole control over the general conduct of the players upon the field,” promised Walter Camp, the IFA committee leader, referee, Yale co-coach and football writer. “We shall see a much more quiet [scrimmage] line and a much steadier style of playing, characterized by clever running but sharper tackling. Captains will train their men to keep their tempers.” Continue reading

What You NEED to Know about the NFL Concussion Settlement

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Our guest post today is from attorney Dan Chamberlain with the law firm Cohen & Malad LLP from Indianapolis IN. Dan has also been Chairman of the Brain Injury Association of America since 2011.

With the final lawsuit appeals being set aside last week, it appears that the NFL’s concussion lawsuit settlement will be moving forward in the new year. Many of you have been reaching out to find out more about what your next steps should be. While we are not offering legal advice ourselves, Dan’s piece is a solid overview on some of the most critical deadlines and points each of you will have to know.

Contact your attorney for advice.

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Supreme Court Rules Against Challenges to NFL Concussion Settlement

As hopeful as some might have been for a ruling that would have allowed a challenge to the terms of the NFL’s final settlement offer in the ongoing concussion lawsuit, the US Supreme Court came down against any further challenges that have been made so far. This looks to open the way for the settlement approved in 2015 by Judge Anita Brody to proceed. No discovery. No preliminary hearings and challenges. No trial. Imagine if the Big Tobacco trials had gone this way.

Here’s the coverage from NPR earlier today:

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First CTE Lawsuit Finally Filed!

Well, as we wait for things to settle down following the NFL concussion lawsuit and appeal drama, the question that kept coming up has been, What about CTE?!

From CTE Awareness Foundation

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Another “Random” Drug Test for James Harrison

Is this harassment? James Harrison posted this on his Facebook page earlier today.

How many “random” drug tests did you have during your career with the NFL?

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The Harvard Football Players’ Health Study: A Critique by Brad Sohn

This was a guest post from Paul Anderson’s NFL Concussion Litigation Blog and is re-posted here with permission of Paul Anderson and Brad Sohn. I remember reaching out to Harvard a couple of years ago when they first announced this study, thinking that this might be an objective outside study. Now I know why they never got back to me…

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The Harvard Football Players’ Health Study: A Critique by Brad Sohn

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Joe Nocera: The NFL’s Broken Concussion Settlement

Joe Nocera has been a New York Times Op-Ed and Business columnist for many years. Nocera has also written several books, mostly focused on business. In his Oct. 7th column, he analyzes the final NFL Concussion Settlement Offer that’s been accepted by the courts but continues to be stalled by objections and petitions. His key issue? CTE. And the lack of inclusion in this settlement. This is a must-read for all players.

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The League’s worst nightmare will be definitive tests for living players that will detect the presence of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). This is like Big Tobacco desperately denying the link between smoking and lung cancer as a last resort to a real settlement that would go beyond anything offered to date.

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Richard Sherman on Players and the NFL

Richard Sherman has never been one to hold back about what’s on his mind. In a recent interview with The Players’ Tribune, the Seattle Seahawks’ star cornerback tells it like it is about the reality of life in the NFL and the real relationship between the players and the League.

New Petition Filed on NFL Concussion Settlement

roger-goodell-cteYesterday (Sept. 26th), a petition for a Writ of Certiorari was filed with the Supreme Court by attorneys Deepak Gupta, Richard Coffman, Mitchell Toups and Jason Webster on behalf of a group of players spearheaded by retired player Raymond Armstrong. The petition specifically points out the blatant omission of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) in the final settlement offer that has already been approved earlier by the District Court in Pennsylvania.

We’ve uploaded a copy of this new petition to Scribd for easy viewing on our Blog and to make it available for downloading and printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the lower right corner of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (just hit the ESC key to close):

NFL Concussion Settlement Petition 9-26-2016 on Scribd

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Jim Acho: For the Players Who Opted Out

Over the past months of confusion and ongoing drama with the NFL concussion lawsuit, many of you who had opted out of the lawsuit have reached out to me seeking opinions on what to do next.

A while back, our friend, attorney Jim Acho, ran an uphill campaign against DeMaurice Smith in the election for Executive Director of the NFLPA. As an outsider, many of the retired players have relied on Jim not just as legal counsel but also as a close friend and confidante. As someone who was not part of the litigation directly, Jim was gracious enough to take some time to put his thoughts down and submit them to help our readers consider their options. (Keep in mind that we’re not offering legal advice – this is an editorial opinion.)

And thank you, Jim.

An Open Letter to Retired Players Who Opted Out of the Concussion Class Action

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PED Investigation Closed

Earlier today, the NFL announced their “findings” from their drawn-out al Jazeera PED investigation: James Harrison, Clay Matthews and Julius Pepper have been cleared of any allegations that they ever used PED’s based on an already-discredited video from a “witness” who recanted his testimony when he realized that his entire interview had been recorded for TV.

So once again: Why isn’t al Jazeera being sued by the players, the League or the NFLPA?

Here’s the official NFL statement: Continue reading

James Harrison’s “Random” PED Test

pee-testSteelers’ James Harrison has been goading the NFL and Roger Goodell about their request for PED testing following an earlier story on al Jazeera that named him along with several other players of using PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs). Well, on Tuesday, Harrison posted this short clip following a “random” PED test he had apparently been given. (The person who made those claims has since recanted his story.)

No word on the results yet but we can be assured that if the test had come out positive, we would have heard about it already. And he certainly wouldn’t have posted this fun clip on Facebook.

Wonder if Roger Goodell took Harrison up on his invitation to have the meeting at his house and hold the cup?

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