Dear Dirty America


Surrounding Seau’s Death: How Do You Conceal the Dangers of Concussions?

January 15
20:20 2013
Los Angeles

Seau, standing among his fellow warriors

This report is a little shocking:

Some 4,000 ex-players, plus nearly 1,500 of their spouses and children, have joined a class action suit against the NFL, claiming that the league “deliberately ignored and actively concealed” information about concussions for decades. Expect that number to now grow, says Paul Anderson, an attorney who has closely studied the concussion case for his blog, “There was a really a spike in plaintiffs after Seau’s death,” says Anderson. “For many players, the concussion issue was a little under the radar beforehand. Given Seau’s high profile, it really made players focus on the potential harms of concussions. I expect a similar effect from the CTE diagnosis.”

How does anybody ignore the fact that multiple concussions cause serious brain damage and are most likely deadly over a long period of time? How does the NFL “actively conceal” that? The violence in major league football is so obvious it makes sensitive people squirm just to watch it happen — in fact, serious NFL fans lose most of their brain cells within a couple of years of heavy football watching because of what doctors call “sympathy trauma”. And they don’t even know it.

Even if the NFL did “deliberately ignore and actively conceal” the brutality of concussions, how could the players not suspect the grim consequences of what they put their bodies through?

The crashing, head-to-head blows. The player who jumps into the air and keeps his eye on the football sailing toward his stretched arms while another player clips his legs from below, sending the airborne player head and neck first into the turf. The quarterback who, while looking deep, gets crunched by a 300-pound tuna with legs. And all the legs and knees and ankles into which other players roll, slide, or dive.

O! the excitement

Anybody stupid enough to play a violent sport for the glory, the paycheck, or even just the amusement of it, and make it his career deserves what he gets. There’s no way around that judgment. If I sign a contract to earn 1 million dollars by slamming my head into the wall one hundred times as hard as I can, should I then, years later, sue the company that paid me to do it?

Could I argue that nobody told me about the dangers of pounding my head against a solid surface many times in a row? Would I dare say, You people didn’t mention anything about brain damage or concussions! Nobody said I wouldn’t be able to see straight in a couple of years. Nobody told me my brain is actually the command center of all my bodily functions, and that I should do everything possible to preserve it and maintain its vitality.

Anybody with a modicum of common sense will inherently understand the dangers of head trauma, and its devastating effects on the brain’s ability to properly control the functions of the body and mind.

If you thought “the concussion issue was a little under the radar” before Junior Seau’s death, your evolutionary path is probably also a little under the radar.


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