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Jim McMahon, 6 other former players sue NFL over concussions

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  • 5 Orem, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 2:29 p.m.

    One way to stop "putting the other guy out of the game" would be to create a rule that if an injury is sustained because of a foul or penalty play the player who is guilty of the foul is ineligible to return to play until the injured player is able to return. With a maximum of one year out. No player would risk a foul, or penalty play, even if a coach demanded it of him/her.

  • kjewkes SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Aug. 20, 2011 11:36 a.m.

    Steve Young was faced with the same problem and gave it careful consideration before bowing out gracefully.

  • desert dweller SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 7:28 p.m.

    there is a bright side to all of this. soon they will be on Obamacare and we can pay for it !

  • desert dweller SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 7:25 p.m.

    you want to play the game and make all that money. then prepare to pay the price.. they have nothing coming to them. its just a case of people that couldnt manage money so now its time to blame the NFL for it. have you people seen all those super-bowl rings in the hock shops ?

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 4:36 p.m.

    I am wondering if they are going to sue their parents, home towns and little league coaches, high schools and coaches, colleges and college coaches? They all had to have encouraged them to play football, paid for and provided camps, and taught them how to hit. "Tuck your head and run!" What about the refs they didn't call all the face-masking, horse collaring and head butting? Who is responsible for us and when do we say enough? You can't tell me not one single Doctor ever told any of these former players that they were suffering from head, neck and possibly brain injuries?

  • IJ Hyrum, Ut
    Aug. 19, 2011 2:55 p.m.

    I never played football after high school and there are time where I walk into a room and can't remember why I'm there.

  • my3cents Nashville, TN
    Aug. 19, 2011 2:12 p.m.

    I'm a health care provider. I never encouraged my boys to play football. Even before we gained our current understanding of concussions I saw too many people with lifelong injuries from playing HS football.

    I'm surprised at all the vitriol at lawyers. Past suits have brought us seatbelts, childproof pill bottles, unleaded gas, safer health care and on and on. The lawsuits that are simply meritless greed are the exception not the rule.

    Lastly, closed head injuries ruin lives. Mike Borich, a offensive coordinator under Crowton, ended up an alcoholic who took his life. By all accounts his personality changed dramatically after multiple concussions. His autopsy proved conclusively that he had severe brain injury - chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Muhammid Ali is another sad example of repeated head trauma.

    Even when players play knowing the risks, others including parents, trainers, teams, team doctors and coaches all have a responsibility to educate and even prevent players from putting themselves at risk.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    Aug. 19, 2011 1:52 p.m.

    Should be easy for the NFL to get McMahon removed; there's a LOT of footage of him bare-headed head butting other players with helmets on, showing complete disregard on his own outside of action.

  • nomo Draper, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 1:47 p.m.

    Civil..I'm not questioning Jim McMahons toughness, but come on there are as many knee injuries in the NFL as there are concusions should those playres sue too. After all they were injured while playing football and may never be able to run/walk properly again. In any job there is a risk factor we all take willingly why is the NFL any different..Fireman, Policemen, construction workers, etc there is an inherent risk in all activities.

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 1:40 p.m.

    I wish these guys and all sufferers of concussions and other injuries, stemming from their "profession" in the NFL, all the best and an equitable outcome for themselves and their families.

    In the days of the gladiators in Rome's Circus, countless numbers suffered at the hands of "sports promoters" for the love of money and entertainment.

    The NFL and all professional sports are likewise profiting by at least unethical business practices solely for purposes of making inordinate amounts of money at the expense of the well being and health of a very large number of gifted athletes.

  • Gary Federal Way, WA
    Aug. 19, 2011 12:35 p.m.

    Many of you negative posters would change your minds if you fell into the same boat having dementia and brain related problems. It's a fact that the NFL has tried to hide this problem. That's what that article and suit is about. To get the NFL to admit there is a problem and do something about it. No player should have to experience concussions that affect his future down the road. Secondly I am appalled by the many posters that show no empathy to those players who are suffering needlessly from the many concussions suffered. Do a google search on concussions related to sports and learn about it before you say something you know nothing about. Concussions are serious bruises where if not allowed to rest to heal the brain's bruises, there is no going back to repairing it. That is a BIG deal.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 19, 2011 12:23 p.m.

    @ mgr63

    "I love Jim McMahon!!!!! By far and away the coolest athlete to EVER play for BYU......hands down!"

    Yep, he was into partying at BYU, quite on the contrary to what they allow. Drinker, partyer, and of course he was having relations with the ladies. And he's probably the most celebrated athlete they've ever had. A true mans' man. Go Bears!

  • Civil Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 12:06 p.m.

    nomo | 10:39 a.m. Aug. 19, 2011
    Draper, UT
    First off a player can get a concussion without getting hit by another players helmet.Steve Young got his worst concussion by accidently being hit by a players knee. Most concussions are not deliberate, its a tough game if you want to play you need to understand it.JM doesn't seem so brain damaged as to appear in every celebrity golf tournament in the country. For a guy who claims he can't remember what room hes in in his own house, he shoots a pretty good game of golf..a game where had eye coordination has to be perfect.
    --------

    You're lecturing Jim McMahon on toughness?

    You are so ignorant (i.e., uninformed) that you don't understand how one can play golf and still suffer from the symptoms McMahon suffers from? Did you not follow the coverage of the Quarterback Day at BYU?

    That kind of ignorance just shows that to this day people have little to no understanding of concussions and the medical ramifications. That "tough game" attitude demonstrates why, to this day, players, coaches and parents from little league to the NFL aren't taking concussions seriously.

  • Civil Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 11:57 a.m.

    across the sea,

    You sound like a reasonable, and certainly well-qualified individual. If you are in your late 40's or 50's you have, like me, seen tremendous advancement in all fields -- including athletic training. As I've stated, awareness of dehydration, concussions, athletic training, etc. has advanced. Steps are being taken to more adequately address adverse affects.

    What McMahon et al are saying is this: The NFL knew better, teams knew better, trainers knew better, and didn't adequately inform and/or protect them. That is the essence of the suit. Is that true? A jury will decide.

    Now maybe you are protective of your profession. Maybe you are looking at the '80s through the eyes of 2011. Maybe you really think players knew better.

    I am saying players did not know better at that time.

    I am saying players, coaches, parents at lower levels -- little league, high school, college, didn't know better then, and probably don't now.

    Should they? Yes? Maybe?

    We can't all be experts on everything, even on things that affect us dramatically. That is why why rely on EXPERTS, and on the issue concussions, something that can have lifelong consequences, experts need to step up.

  • Civil Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 11:47 a.m.

    across the sea,

    you are right on part of your post, 100% wrong on the other part.

    The correct part:
    "We, as Athletic Trainers, are aware on concussions and treatments."

    The 100% wrong part, and why the players should win:
    "Each player, driver, athlete know the dangers of their sports,"

    No, players rely on experts to advise and protect them in things MEDICAL. The players in this suit are saying that the medical advice was inadequate and BIASED.

    "The players accuse the league of training players to hit with their heads, failing to properly treat them for concussions and trying to conceal for decades any links between football and brain injuries."

    I would go further and state that ATHLETES themselves need better training and awareness, and can state unequivocally that in McMahon's day, players did not understand that "getting your bell rung" could lead to dementia and lifelong "bell ringing."

    This part is also incorrect:
    "what I dislike here is the core system where lawyers are needed to make US health care CIVIL."

    The suit isn't alleging US health care needs revision, but the NFL's treatment of concussions in their day was inadequate and biased.

  • catram North Las Vegas, NV
    Aug. 19, 2011 11:12 a.m.

    I just heard him on the Dan Patrick show. He is still a joke!! "I have 20K a year in medical bills." O.K. Jim, that is the risk of football. Seriously? I never supported him at BYU and wish he would just move to the Bahamas and chill.

  • nomo Draper, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 10:39 a.m.

    First off a player can get a concussion without getting hit by another players helmet.Steve Young got his worst concussion by accidently being hit by a players knee. Most concussions are not deliberate, its a tough game if you want to play you need to understand it.JM doesn't seem so brain damaged as to appear in every celebrity golf tournament in the country. For a guy who claims he can't remember what room hes in in his own house, he shoots a pretty good game of golf..a game where had eye coordination has to be perfect.

  • across the sea Topeno, Finland
    Aug. 19, 2011 10:02 a.m.

    CIVIL...
    We, as Athletic Trainers, are aware on concussions and treatments.
    I have worked in pro circles in Ice Hockey and pioneered our field in motor sports as the first hired by an international factory team (Honda HRC). I have lectured Sports Medicine all over Europe, even keynote spoken at Welsh Rugby Union Conference on Sports Medicine. Stood on sidelines at the top collegiate football games and practices...
    what I dislike here is the core system where lawyers are needed to make US health care CIVIL. Each player, driver, athlete know the dangers of their sports, so the responsibility is theirs in the first place.
    AND I do not dislike Jim. He won BYU the miracle minute - had he been somebody else - the miracle would have been just a lost bowl game. again, I hope NFL and players union give adequate assistance to the athletes who need it, and NOT to lawyers who are just out there trying to make their monies.

  • Kimball Bakersfield, CA
    Aug. 19, 2011 9:57 a.m.

    No one forced them to play football. What were they thinking? How is your poor choice and questionable judgement someone else's fault? Your headlines in the news were always so attention grabbing. This is sad.

  • Civil Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 9:32 a.m.

    Woodyff | 10:39

    There is no reason the current players in the NFL need to make the 'big play' by leading with their helmet and making head to head contact. Players say 'that's the way I play' as an excuse. The NFL needs to ban such play and fine or ban players that can't make the adjustment. Saying they knew the risk is just a cop out. This has become more of an issue each year, in the 60's and 70's they didn't play this way, they don't do it in college
    ----------------

    I was taught to tackle with my facemask in little league in the '60s, in high school and college in the '70s. How does a lineman get his head out of the way when he is 18" from the player across the line at the snap, or get his head out of the way when a running back runs full speed into him a split second later?

    How does a quarterback avoid getting his head hit against the turf when he's sacked? A receiver when he's tackled?

    Head-to-head or head-to-turf contact is inevitable. Concussions are inevitable, and must be taken seriously.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 9:26 a.m.

    Maybe everyone in the whole world, whoever played football because they wanted to play in the NFL, and their life didn't turn out the way they wanted it to should be part of the class action lawsuit.

    We can probably sue the teachers union and the college we went to if we are not making enough money.

    Who else should we all sue? Let's get some more class action lawsuits going. This is going to be great!

    The lawyers will love it. We can get a little slice of the pie too. That's what its about. Getting a little slice of the pie.

    Boy are we smart!!!

  • Civil Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 9:12 a.m.

    Frankly, I'm appalled by those commenting on here because they have a personal dislike for McMahon, more appalled by those who claim they are "athletic trainers," yet have so little understanding of concussions or the history of treatment for concussions, and even more appalled by the lack of compassion by commenters.

  • Civil Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 9:11 a.m.

    He knew the risks?

    McMahon played in the dark ages, truly. Medical treatment in athletics has changed dramatically since then.

    In McMahon's day few teams took water breaks, because they wanted players to "get used to it." Nowadays everyone understands you don't "get used to" dehydration, you die or you don't -- and they take several water breaks per day because historically dehydration has been one of the top to causes of fatalities in football.

    In McMahon's day, if you could tell the trainer your name and the day you were cleared to play -- even if you had been knocked cold.

    Few understood the ramifications of concussions, and fewer still understood what a concussion was. Most of us "shook it off" and never came out of the game. Looking back, I had at least two concussions in my high school and college careers, and didn't know it at the time. On one of those I never left the field, never missed a play.

    Yet "back in the day," the NFL was making huge profits, but all the risk was on the players. This lawsuit is the equivalent of players asking for workman's comp.

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    Aug. 19, 2011 8:45 a.m.

    Hmmm... not surprised that McMahon is involved in the suit. This is the same guy that mooned a helicopter. How much of his "daze" is due to 30 years of non-stop beer swillin? I hope the NFL brings that up as part of their defense. Is this information that McMahon just barely stumbled upon out or did he think this all along but looked the other way when he was making millions and had the adoration of fans? Now that that has stopped, the complaints come out. And why only 6 players in the suit? There are thousands and thousands of ex-NFL players. Blame blame blame.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    McMahon
    mus thave got his first concussion playing pee-wee football. That would explain his behavior for the rest of his life

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Aug. 19, 2011 8:28 a.m.

    It's amazing how many classless posters hit this article. Must be jealous of the pro athletes' money.

    Doesn't matter whether you liked McMahon, NO athlete deserves having their life ruined by concussions, no matter how much they earned, or how much they wanted to ignore the possible future impact of their injuries because they wanted to compete.

    Classless!

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 8:19 a.m.

    @ mgr 63
    "I love Jim McMahon!!!!! By far and away the coolest athlete to EVER play for BYU......hands down! "

    This reveals quite a bit about what makes mgr 63 tick. McMahon was selfish, classless and has bitten the hand that fed him many times. He would never have made it to the NFL if BYU had not let him play there.

    How do we know which brain damage was caused by NFL hits and which damage was done before the NFL. He has never been the sharpest tool in the shed. His mouth not only starts before his brain, sometimes his mouth is done talking before his brain finally gets in gear.

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    Aug. 19, 2011 7:51 a.m.

    Football is a violent, gladiator activity. It takes the finest physically fit members of society, and destroys them for entertainment purposes to sell beer.

    We are a violent nation. Our sports reflect our values.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Aug. 19, 2011 7:50 a.m.

    McMahon has always been classless, and this lack of willingness to take responsibility just exacerbates his history.

    Man up, McMahon. You were paid millions and you knew the risk.

  • mgr63 DALLAS, TX
    Aug. 19, 2011 7:48 a.m.

    @Kim..........His second ring when he was with Green Bay in 96'.

  • Kim Cedar Park, Texas
    Aug. 19, 2011 7:05 a.m.

    Two time super bowl champion for McMahon? Who gave him a second super bowl?

  • jdcray Richmond, VA
    Aug. 19, 2011 6:40 a.m.

    Oh, come on! Another abuse of the legal system. How could players who arguably GREW UP in the sport claim the NFL "taught" them how to hit improperly?

    The old story about the boy and the snake comes to mind... "You knew what I was when you picked me up." Lasting physical injuries have ALWAYS been part of an NFL player's life. That's their trade off for ridiculous sums of money to play a sport, I'm afraid.

    Don't go clogging up our legal system further!

  • mgr63 DALLAS, TX
    Aug. 19, 2011 6:31 a.m.

    I love Jim McMahon!!!!! By far and away the coolest athlete to EVER play for BYU......hands down!

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Aug. 18, 2011 11:33 p.m.

    My first thought was a bit sarcastic about McMahon, cause I don't like some of his antics through the years. But I feel 100% empathy towards those players. We have the St Louis Blues Hockey team and one of our best players has been out because of a bad concussion. They are very protective of the players. Sadly, athletes are can we say brain washed to sacrifice their bodies to win the game. I am on McMahon's side on this one.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Aug. 18, 2011 10:48 p.m.

    Some coaches teach the art of tackling as if its meant to be "legal assault."

    Those NFL players were paid handsomely and why they ever need to work again after a successful pro football career just shows they didn't take care of their resources very well.

    I do hope future injures will be less tramautic, however. Officials can have a great deal to do with how the game is allowed to be played and dirty play ought to be penalized.

    Nice of the lawyers to take on this issue......bet they're not 'donating their time' though, and will demand at least 1/3rd of any settlement.

  • Woodyff Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 18, 2011 10:39 p.m.

    There is no reason the current players in the NFL need to make the 'big play' by leading with their helmet and making head to head contact. Players say 'that's the way I play' as an excuse. The NFL needs to ban such play and fine or ban players that can't make the adjustment. Saying they knew the risk is just a cop out. This has become more of an issue each year, in the 60's and 70's they didn't play this way, they don't do it in college. It can and should be stopped. It won't hurt the game. The way to stop it is fine the players and the teams, if a player can't adopt, then he can't play.

  • Sand Flea FALLING WATERS, WV
    Aug. 18, 2011 9:32 p.m.

    no one forced these players to play through injuries. They all had the choice to see their own doctor and to leave at anytime. I waited too long and have some ill effects. So what! I knew the risks and gave up the potential money and got a real career after college. I loved the sports, but had to pare it down to what I could physically do. If enough players leave or complain the NFL and NBA will change the rules. In my opinion it isn't different for other professions. ZI work around mechanics today who avoid safety protocols because they are lazy, unaware, or don;t care. I have to stop them as the employer and try to protect them. They know the rules and choose not to follow them. I cannot or should not be held accountable. The only ones that win in the end are the lawyers.

  • DR Hall Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 18, 2011 9:23 p.m.

    I doubt if the NFL will ever acknowledge their responsibility or give out real money for medical care. They will just say that players knew the chances they were taking; just like the tobacco companies knew and covered up about it. I wish that NFL would take care of their players much better. But this is business and so each player will have to account for their own health items and how to properly take care of it even if it means to get out of that position or out of that sport altogether.

  • nomo Draper, UT
    Aug. 18, 2011 8:13 p.m.

    Oh please your trying to tell me McMahon didn't know the risks he was taking when he got into the NFL.So if a coal miner gets black lung, or a fireman is injured in a fire, or a policeman gets injured on the job they should all be able to sue?..Come on Jim, playing the victim doesn't suit you..

  • dumprake Washington, UT
    Aug. 18, 2011 7:58 p.m.

    Head to head hits should be illegal, players fined $100,000 and suspended for two games--then this idiocy will stop. Football can be a good, tough, physical game without trying to kill the other guy.

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Aug. 18, 2011 7:37 p.m.

    'Bout time greater awareness of this issue is being brought up. No better people to bring it on than those who've obviously been affected badly by football-related concussions.

    I doubt the NFL is clean in this issue. Money talks, and defense wins championships, which wins the big money.

    This will be an interesting law suit to see unfold.

    Maybe this'll keep current players who've had concussions from getting further injured, either by changes in the rules or by them retiring with their health intact.

    I love football and the hitting part of it, but it needs to be done with respect for the human body. And it can be. Just get the correct rules in place.

  • Laser Iowa City, IA
    Aug. 18, 2011 7:28 p.m.

    I don't get McMahon's complaint, that's how he walked around BYU! :-)