Earlier this week, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) took to the U.S. House floor to honor Dr. Bennet Omalu, a resident of Lodi, CA, who was the first medical professional to identify, diagnose and name Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive degenerative disease that is found in people who have suffered repetitive brain trauma, including sub-concussive hits that do not show any immediate symptoms.
In a precedent-setting win, George Visger (49ers ’80 – ’81 Super Bowl XVI) and his attorney, Chris Asvar, just beat the NFL and Travelers Insurance for his EARNED medical treatments through the California Workers Compensation Board that he’s been fighting for since 1984. And just days before the start of Super Bowl 50!
You probably won’t hear too much about this because of all the noise in the media about the upcoming game but this is a major break for all retired players because George’s case includes the documented brain injuries and NINE brain surgeries that followed the end of his career with the NFL back in 1981 after the 49ers won Super Bowl XVI. Travelers continued to fight and appeal the original claims and suit over the years (all while stopping any payments to George’s healthcare providers over the years), filing appeal after appeal until it made its way to the California Court of Appeal.
Asvar filed the original claims and lawsuit for Visger years ago and despite winning at each level, Travelers (and the League) continued to escalate the case through endless appeals while George eventually lost his business, his home and his family over the years. George’s Workers Compensation claims are based on his employment with the San Francisco 49ers – a California employer, of course – which now makes this an even more solid win under the changed California Workers Comp rules that were adopted in recent years.
Not too much can be hidden these days especially with political contributions. Even though there are new calls on Capitol Hill to investigate the NFL’s direct influence on the $30 million research “no-strings-attached” donation to the NIH for concussion research, the money going to our Congressional and Senatorial campaigns never ends. OpenSecrets has a website that gathers data on political contributions and it’s interesting to see what has already been donated in early 2016 so far: $86,500 to House Democrats and $66,000 to House Republicans so far in this screen shot.
You can go to their website to view all their disclosed donations this year as well as select past contributions over the years – click HERE.
You can also click through the tabs on the NFL contribution page to see the information broken down by donors and recipients.
…but the NFL will never acknowledge or allow.
EDITOR’S NOTE: (posted at 7:10 pm PST) Just received some additional information and clarification on this settlement offer from several sources who have been involved on different sides of the original suit (PPS – Some additional notes also got added anonymously to the comments section):
The initial draft specifically included professional players but we’ll have to dig into this document to see if that’s changed. This settlement offer only provides for monitoring. And just like the NFL’s SOP, they also make it difficult to qualify for it. If you’re lucky enough to qualify just to get the monitoring and find something, you will then have to file a separate lawsuit against the NCAA; all subject to the same old typical defenses (e.g. Statute of Limitations, etc.). The original settlement also gave up class action status of concussion suits against the NCAA which was a major sticking point in negotiations.
Any attorneys out there care to analyze and elaborate further? Thanks.
Quite frankly, as someone who has never participated in or even watched college sports, I’ve never understood the strict rules that the NCAA has kept in place for all these years. This is another blllion-dollar industry with revenue sources coming in from broadcasting rights, product licensing, endorsements and countless other sources similar to the NFL. Everyone – EVERYONE – makes tons of money EXCEPT the athletes. And athletes can’t even make any money from endorsements or autographs because of so-called ethical rules in place all these years. But oh wait! Most of these athletes are getting scholarships to attend college so of course they’re getting “paid”! Except for the simple fact that most of receiving scholarships because of one thing – and one thing only: Their exceptional athletic abilities. Most aren’t in college because of their academic prowess. And in the majority of cases, if the athlete gets seriously injured to the point where they can no longer perform, they typically lose their scholarships.
Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada discuss the NFL’s attempts to control the NIH (National Institutes of Health) study on concussions and CTE:
You can read the full article on ESPN – click HERE.
From last weekend’s Saturday Night Live: Pretty much sums up how important every hit is to the NFL…
The Bengals’ Vontaze Burfict illegal hit on Steelers’ Antonio Brown causes an obvious concussion.
It would be respectful if some of these newscasters would at least learn to pronounce names properly before reading them in a news story.
Nonetheless, another good statement about the ripple effect coming out of the work from Dr. Bennet Omalu. More fans are finally waking up about football.