In a $1 billion agreement, the NFL concussion settlement deadline is coming up for former players to register. This is a topic that has been increasingly debated as the years go on.
Two of the people working to help former athletes in this situation talk with KOLR10 News about the settlement and the concussion issue in general.
Former NFL safety Shawn Wooden, and lead counsel for retired NFL players, Christopher Seeger discuss the benefits to this settlement for former players and how the issue got to this point.
“Starting with the benefits, which is the most important part of it, the benefits are substantial,” explains Seeger. “They’re a substantial monetary compensation for players who are diagnosed with either Alzheimers, dementia, or ALS. The settlement also provides baseline assessment testing which is getting every player we can tested, so if they’re diagnosed in the future, we can test it against the baseline exam, and that’s one of the most important parts of diagnosing neurological problems.”
KOLR10’s Joe Murano asked Wooden, “Shawn, having played in the league, how important do you view this settlement?”
“I think it’s very important. I’ve said through this whole process I think it’s giving guys a piece of mind, who aren’t suffering right now,” Wooden says. “It’s giving them the peace of mind to go out there and make sure you have a safety net for the next 65 years. This settlement will take care of you and give you financial backing for you and your family. Heaven forbid something happens to you in the future, you’ll have that safety net there. For the guys who are suffering right now, there’s a monetary award and medical testing to every player.”
“And how important is it that players pay attention to this because guys are getting bigger and will just keep hitting harder,” Murano asks.
“Yes, they will, but this settlement covers you if you retire before July of 2014. But if you’re still playing, at least we changed the discussion,” Wooden says. “If you get hurt, it’s not just an injury, or just a ding, or just a stinger that you play through, you need to make sure you take care of your health, and so that you and your family are taken care of in the future.”