The Future of Football: NYTimes Links Big Tobacco with NFL Concussion Study

johnmd20

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So you feel bad that the NFL, one of the most hypocritical organizations on earth, got taken advantage of by a hypocrite?
I guess not, the NFL is definitely not something I ever have cause to defend. It is certainly a shameless organization. It just felt pretty petty by Timberlake.
 

kenneycb

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Tuukka's refugee camp
He can be a hypocrite and the NFL can be assholes. It’s not a binary thing. Both can be wrong for different reasons. Good for him for taking advantage but it doesn’t mean he’s a morally-bound musician.
 

mauf

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JT would rather have people talking about him not letting his kid play football than talking about Janet Jackson. Not sure changing the subject was his intent, but it works out nicely for him.
 

tims4wins

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joe dokes

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Divorced parents should-he-play dispute (I put it here because its the NYT. If there's a better place, it can be moved). My biases got the best of me when I was surprised that Mom wants the son to play, Dad not.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/05/sports/football/concussions.html
PITTSBURGH — In this city with a deep and proud relationship with football, a custody dispute has pushed the debate about the sport’s safety into a new arena: family court.

A father, John Orsini, has gone to court to prevent the youngest of his three sons from playing high school football because, he said, scientific studies have revealed the perils of repeated blows to the head — especially for an athlete, like his son, who has a history of concussions. The boy’s mother, Mr. Orsini’s ex-wife, believes he should be allowed to continue playing because he understands the risks
.
 

InstaFace

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I'm not sure how a 14-year-old could "understand the risks" in any legally meaningful sense. It's not real for them. Jim McMahon status is later in life, nobody thinks about (or gives any weight to) something that far down the road.
 

Van Everyman

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I’m not sure how I feel about living in a world where Instaface has a non-BB avatar.

Also, that mother (or her attorney) is the worst of everything. Anyone, much less a parent, who can say with a straight face that the science in inconclusive on the dangers of football either cares more about social standing or the money their child could make from the game than the welfare of their child. Either way, one would hope a judge would see it that way as well.

Edit: typos
 
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Reverend

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I think the weirdest part is the idea that the burden of proof is on those who say football might be bad for people.

I mean, like, step back for a second and just LOOK at it.

I feel the same way about pollution regulations.
 

mauf

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Not a terribly interesting legal case. A judge shouldn’t second-guess a doctor’s judgment, and I’d expect a high-school kid’s wishes to prevail in most cases where the divorced parents who share custody of him disagree.

That said, if my son suffered three concussions, he’d be done playing football.
 

Van Everyman

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This part was a tough read:
Randall Gay, who at 35 has been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, considers himself among the fortunate. The youngest Patriot to play in the 2005 Super Bowl — a starting defensive back, he led the team with 11 tackles in a 24-21 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles — Gay retired at age 29 in 2011 after suffering multiple concussions.

He has since graduated from law school with his wife, Desha, and they are practicing attorneys in Louisiana. But Gay’s cognitive deficiencies, he said, include depression and other symptoms he believes were caused by football injuries.

“There are days when I just wake up and don’t want to be around anybody,’’ Gay said. “I just want to be in a room by myself, not doing anything, not even watching TV, and I can’t explain what’s going on.’’
 

soxhop411

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The NFL should be ashamed

Denied benefits, delayed payments, and the bureaucratic roadblocks of the NFL’s concussion settlement

On festive holidays, Ronnie Lippett, one of the hardest-hitting defensive backs in New England Patriots history, eats alone in his room because the sounds of family celebrations disorient and disturb him.

He never leaves his home outside Boston without a small spiral notebook that contains his precise itinerary, floor plans of the buildings he visits, phone numbers, and his favorite Bible passages.

His GPS goes, too. Otherwise, he is likely to get lost and need the police to help guide him home again

At 57, Lippett said he feels himself slipping away. A member of the Patriots’ All-Decade Team for the 1980s who started in the franchise’s first Super Bowl, in the 1985 season, Lippett devoted much of his life afterward to giving back to the Greater Boston community as a professional youth counselor and a parent of 26 foster children.
eficiencies that doctors have told him are related to the head blows he absorbed playing nine seasons for the Patriots.

Yet Lippett’s application for assistance under the NFL’s $1 billion concussion settlement has been denied, as have 179 others filed through March 13 by retired NFL players, including many Patriots.

“I know I’m not going to live that long,’’ Lippett said in a series of interviews. “I’m fighting to take care of my wife and kids and grandkids after I’m gone, but I’m getting set up to fail.’’
Lippett’s lawyer, Jason Luckasevic, who originated the class-action concussion suit and has helped more than 100 players file claims, alleges that the NFL and court-approved administrator processing the claims are unfairly denying benefits to brain-injured players or are trying to reduce or reverse monetary awards through appeals, audits, and other tactics.

“Everybody is being roadblocked,’’ Luckasevic said. “There are new obstacles and hurdles every step of the way, and Ronnie is a victim of the whole thing. He is a poster child of somebody who is supposed to get a payment.’’

The NFL, in a statement, said the settlement “is working as anticipated by the parties and approved by the court.’’

As of March 13, 1,703 former players had submitted claims for monetary awards since the process began nearly a year ago, and only 156 — less than 10 percent — had received payments of a combined $150 million. The NFL has funded an additional $56 million for 45 other players, but the payments had yet to be made for various reasons.
“To the extent there are delays in payment, that is caused principally by the large number of claims submitted at the beginning of the program, the large number of claims that failed to include the required medical information and backup, and the very significant number of claims that are being audited by the claims administrator for possible fraud,’’ the NFL stated.

The office of the claims administrator chose not to comment publicly. The office is monitored by two independent special masters who report to the federal court overseeing the settlement.
Lippett and 28 other members of New England’s 1985 Super Bowl team are among 342 retired Patriots who alleged in a class-action suit against the NFL and the helmet maker Riddell that they have experienced symptoms of brain injuries related to head impacts in games and practices. Riddell did not join the settlement and continues to litigate the case.


In all, 289 monetary claims totaling $320 million had received initial approval for payment as of March 13, but 35 of those claims had been appealed by the NFL, with the league losing 10 of the 12 appeals that have been decided. Other claims have been delayed by audits of physicians and for additional reasons.

Perhaps most glaring, only six of the 1,108 players who had filed monetary claims for diagnoses of dementia — less than .6 percent — had been paid by March 13. An additional 49 claims had received initial approval for payment, but most are pending appeals or other delays.
http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/patriots/2018/03/17/denied-benefits-delayed-payments-and-bureaucratic-roadblocks-nfl-concussion-settlement/rEDWWKRygxJod2VvB740aM/story.html?s_campaign=bostonglobe:socialflow:twitter

read the rest at the link
 

Harry Hooper

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Keep in mind the NFL touted its gift of $30 million in unrestricted funds to the NIH to study CTE, and then fought over making the awards to the point less than half of the $30 million got spent.
 

jose melendez

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I just read the Lippett story and it really shook me. It's not a unique story, sadly, so I'm not really sure why this one in particular got to me, but it did.

I really like watching football, love it even, but I am increasingly aware that I am basically watching gladiatorial combat. In the NFL I can kind of rationalize it away because people are getting paid an awful lot of money to take years off their lives, but the college game, where kids really do get used up and thrown away with no money and no medical care for what they endured as student athletes is pretty unconscionable.

I probably don't have the character to give up football, but it's probably the moral choice.
 

EricFeczko

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I think the weirdest part is the idea that the burden of proof is on those who say football might be bad for people.

I mean, like, step back for a second and just LOOK at it.

I feel the same way about pollution regulations.
We're primates. We're tougher than most people give credit for.

Fortunately, such proof is easy to provide; i mean in the context of football, pollution is actually much harder to prove :)

EDIT: Relatively harder to prove, I mean. We're kind of at the scale where it's so obvious, that you almost need a PhD to respond to arguments against the hypothesis.
 

DJnVa

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I just read the Lippett story and it really shook me. It's not a unique story, sadly, so I'm not really sure why this one in particular got to me, but it did.

I really like watching football, love it even, but I am increasingly aware that I am basically watching gladiatorial combat. In the NFL I can kind of rationalize it away because people are getting paid an awful lot of money to take years off their lives, but the college game, where kids really do get used up and thrown away with no money and no medical care for what they endured as student athletes is pretty unconscionable.
Part of NCAA scholarship should be lifetime medical care. I don't care how expensive it is
 

mauf

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So yah. The nfl screwed the pooch on this.
You’re much too quick to credit the self-serving account of a few plaintiff’s attorneys. Those attorneys co-created the system that they are now complaining about. And it was their job, not the league’s, to make sure that system would meet their clients’ needs.

I’m not close enough to the story to say whether the plaintiff’s lawyers agreed to a bad system, or whether they are simply trying to manage clients who had unreasonable expectations for how quickly they’d get their money. Either way, it’s not the league’s fault.
 

InstaFace

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Just bumping this to note latest developments:

In April 2019, the Third Circuit reversed the voiding of cash-advance agreements giving players money in anticipation of settlement recovery, and kinda scolded Judge Anita Brody.

Deadspin, May 2019: The concussion settlement is getting worse. Judge Brody upheld the more-restrictive practice for getting cases certified. Lawyers such as Lance Lubel of Houston are generally upset and have contested the fees going to lead plaintiff counsel Chris Seeger. It got uglier in August.

However, Seeger seems content to collect his 1/3 rather than continue the fight for the players' rights. A few days after Judge Brody's ruling, she also terminated 3 of the 4 plaintiff lawyers from the case, including Lubel, leaving only Seeger.

The actions were covered in other non-sports publications too, such as Insurance Journal.

In more recent developments, last week on Sept 12th, the NFL settled with an insurance company who had refused to pay out $1B to cover the league's settlement costs relating to these neurological problems in retired players.
 

BaseballJones

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Harry Hooper

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Laws of physics: low man wins. So if the NFL outlawed the three point stance (and presumably, the four point stance), and had all players line up in some sort of standing stance, I wonder if shorter linemen would become preferred. Much easier for them to get lower quicker than guys 6'5".

Increases the pool of available talent which could drive down the salaries paid to linemen? The NFL owners will love such a change.
 

InstaFace

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Increases the pool of available talent which could drive down the salaries paid to linemen? The NFL owners will love such a change.
The NFL owners have a salary cap and a 90% floor on a 4-year rolling period. They're paying the money to somebody, regardless.

No longer having to encourage freakishly big athletes to get even freakishly bigger will probably lower their long-term liabilities in terms of the health of their alums.
 
Bumping this thread to mention the lawsuit being filed against World Rugby (rugby union's governing body) by eight former players, all under the age of 45, suffering early onset dementia as a result of in-game concussions - including a member of England's World Cup-winning team in 2003 who can't remember winning the tournament:
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/dec/08/steve-thompson-former-rugby-union-players-dementia-landmark-legal-caseI bring this up here because I have in the past wondered if football would be safer if its players didn't wear helmets, or at least not helmets as we know them (with face masks, etc.) - a change which in theory could force players to be much more careful about launching their bodies into their opponents, much as rugby players have to be. But perhaps that was a naive idea on my part.
 

tims4wins

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Bumping this thread to mention the lawsuit being filed against World Rugby (rugby union's governing body) by eight former players, all under the age of 45, suffering early onset dementia as a result of in-game concussions - including a member of England's World Cup-winning team in 2003 who can't remember winning the tournament:
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/dec/08/steve-thompson-former-rugby-union-players-dementia-landmark-legal-caseI bring this up here because I have in the past wondered if football would be safer if its players didn't wear helmets, or at least not helmets as we know them (with face masks, etc.) - a change which in theory could force players to be much more careful about launching their bodies into their opponents, much as rugby players have to be. But perhaps that was a naive idea on my part.
Very interesting as I've had that same thought before.
 

Jinhocho

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My wife studies MCI as her area of specialty as a neuroscientist. She has also been the neuroimager on the NFL concussion work at UNC. She has personally briefed Goodell and top NFL execs on it. Interestingly, she said Goodell was one of the smartest minds she had ever encountered and its doubtful he is the useful idiot most people make him out to be.