Earlier this week, 75 retired players brought suit against the National Football League claiming that the NFL has known for the past 90 years of the harmful effects associated with football-related concussions and concealed this information from players, coaches and trainers. The suit states that the players relied upon the NFL for safety guidelines and regulations, and did not know the long-term effects associated with concussions. Riddell, Inc., the official helmet brand of the NFL for over 20 years, is also named as a defendant in the suit.
The former players accuse the NFL of engaging in "a scheme of fraud and deceit" by having members of the NFL’s Brain Injury Committee "deny knowledge of a link between concussion and cognitive decline and claim that more time was needed to reach a definitive conclusion on the issue."
The suit notes that in 1994, the NFL studied concussion research through the NFL’s Committee on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and in 2004 published findings showed "no evidence of worsening injury or chronic cumulative effects" from multiple concussions. The committee also found that "many NFL players can be safely allowed to return to play" on the day of a concussion, if they are without symptoms and cleared by a doctor.
However, "it was not until June 2010 that the NFL acknowledged that concussions can lead to dementia, memory loss, CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and related symptoms by publishing (a) warning to every player and team," says the suit.