After months of drawn-out bargaining, a lawsuit between the NFL and over 4,500 former players came to an end Thursday afternoon, with a tentative $765 million settlement on the table that must be approved first.
Former NFL players, led by 10 Hall of Famers and the family of Junior Seau, accused the NFL of hiding knowledge of the dangers surrounding on-field concussions and returned players to the field too soon to protect the league’s image. These former players said these actions led to the neurological conditions they suffer from now.
The NFL claimed that they always held the players’ safety was their primary concern.
The settlement appears to be in the best interest of both parties involved. According to the NFL Web site, it would mean the NFL would not have to disclose any internal files they have on what they knew about concussions and problems linked to them and the money involved in the settlement will be used for medical examinations, compensation related to the concussions suffered and future medical research.
While this settlement won’t let the plaintiffs look further into the league’s Mild traumatic Brain Injury Committee, the fact that it sets funds for future exams and research will likely appease the players and players’ families involved.
During the time this lawsuit was happening, two of its main figures – Seau and Ray Easterling – died to bring attention to the issue of chronic traumatic encephalopathy afflicting them and other former players. Now, with this settlement in place, doctors can stop the development of CTE in players before it starts.
The full agreement is on the NFL’s Web site.