Sunday, April 22, 2018
Sports

Reactions to NFL concussion settlement

"Today is so important for those who are hurting, those who are struggling. This will bring help for them today. The compensation provided in this settlement will lift a huge burden off men who are suffering right now, both them and their families, of course. It will give them the peace of mind to have the best quality of life they're able to have."

Kevin Turner, plaintiff and former running back with the Patriots and Eagles, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) and spends about $8,500 a month on medicine and doctor visits

"The settlement (amount, $765 million) seems low considering the number of claimants and the severity of their conditions. But it also shows the uphill climb in proving the league was responsible for the players' injuries. The league is keenly sensitive to its public image. It changes the conversation and really lets the air out of the publicity balloon."

Michael LeRoy, University of Illinois professor who teaches labor law

"NFL concussion lawsuit net outcome? Big loss for the players now and the future! Estimated NFL revenue by 2025 = $27 BILLION."

Kevin Mawae, former Titans center and former players union president, on Twitter

"Some people I'm sure will say this is petty change, peanuts. Some people will say this was a $2 billion case. And maybe it was. But the risks of litigating these kinds of highly complex cases with issues like causation, the burdens of proof and the amount of time litigation would have taken … there are many people in this group who can't wait five or eight more years."

Arthur Miller, New York University law professor

"I believe we got everything we could possibly get. The big picture was we got immediate care to the retired players."

Christopher Seeger, lead plaintiff lawyer

"Glad to see the older guys are getting taken care of with the concussion settlement. It'll never be enough, but it's a start. Curious, though, what the NFL is going to do after putting $765 million into figuring out you can't pad the inside of someone's head."

Chris Kluwe, Raiders punter, on Twitter

"I'm shocked that it is settled. I'm used to the NFL taking a hard-line approach, as they have throughout the years with strikes and everything else. … Any time the NFL acknowledges they are ready to settle something, it shows they knew they had some sort of negligence."

Lomas Brown, plaintiff and former Lions offensive lineman

"Concussions are part of the game. I know a lot of the old players need a lot of help, and it's quite a settlement. I think people have hid behind this too long. It's time it's out in the open."

Mike Ditka, former Bears star tight end and coach

"The NFL is far and away the most popular spectator sport in this country, so it has a symbolic power to lead the way on this issue. Now they are free to help raise awareness and fund prevention and treatment that will save millions from an injury that affects what it means to be human."

Leigh Steinberg, NFL agent, in an op-ed on forbes.com

"The money … is going to people who need it. I had major concussions myself. Am I on that slippery slope? I don't know that. Will this help protect me in the years to come? Yes. That's what it's for, something there in case you need it down the road. Right now I don't need it, knock on wood."

Don Strock, former Dolphins quarterback

"All of the plaintiffs involved are part of our player community, and we look forward to learning more about the settlement."

Statement released by the players union, which was not involved in the lawsuit

"Some reporter called and said, 'That comes out to $170,000 per man.' I said, 'Good, I don't want that. I want health care.' Because what good is the money going to do you? And we're at the age where all the league has to do is take care of most of the guys until they're 65, and then you go on Medicare. It's pretty simple, and they don't do that. I want to believe that (commissioner) Roger Goodell and these guys are good guys. But why do we have to take them to court? Bottom line: I see Roger Goodell, his dad fought for justice. His dad was a senator. Apples don't fall far from trees. I hope that he would have some compassion for the guys who built this league."

Joe DeLamielleure, 62, former Bills offensive lineman

"These are the same people who tried to render the concept that concussions were never a problem and concussions didn't occur in the NFL. My reaction to it is when they settle with you, it's because they have no other choice. They slowly made the conversation turn to a way to settle this so their image doesn't get hurt. But I still don't trust them. I hope it will open the doors for the players of my age group, my era, to give them an automatic way to get treatment now for dementia and early onset of Alzheimer's. Call me if you ever find out we get any money. I refer to (rap music group) Public Enemy: You can't trust this."

Mercury Morris, 66, former Dolphins running back

"Everyone has a much deeper and more substantial understanding about concussions and how to prevent and manage them than they did 20 or even 10 years ago. And the information conveyed to players reflects that greater understanding."

Judge Layn Phillips, who brokered the settlement, on any lawsuits filed by current players being unlikely to succeed

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