News broke last night that former Pitt player and Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino is suing the NFL over the ugly concussion issue. He is one of 15 plaintiffs now in the suit against the league. In all, now, there are reportedly about 5,000 players claiming the league has misled them about the dangers of concussions. The New York Daily News says over 5,000 while ESPN says it's about 4,800.
The Daily News in that article also brings up an incident that probably happened all over the NFL:
In a 1992 game in Seattle, Marino threw the winning touchdown pass in a 19-17 victory with 2:15 remaining. Earlier in the fourth quarter he suffered a concussion.
"When he came out of the game in the fourth quarter he wasn’t sure where he was," Dolphins coach Don Shula said after the game.
With the NFL’s relatively new concussion protocol, Marino would not have been allowed to return to the game and would have needed to pass concussion tests during the week before he would be cleared to play in the next game. But in 1992, Marino went back in after Shula said he was cleared by doctors. He then won the game for Miami.
I've always skewed against the original views by some players that the NFL should be liable for damages because they sustained concussions because those concussions later brought on ill health effects. To me, that was part of the game and while they may not have been as wise about it back then, it was a risk they took in playing.
But this newer lawsuit is a whole new ball of wax because players are saying the NFL and team doctors purposely hid information about concussion effects. And if that can somehow be proven, the league should be held accountable. Don't get me wrong - Players play the game of football knowing there are all kinds of risks and I have a hard time many of them would have turned down the paychecks they got in exchange for regular jobs. But as an employer, you simply cannot lie about harmful effects of working on the job. Any job.
We'll see how big this thing continues to grow.
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