The National Football League has been racked by allegations that it was aware that frequent concussions suffered by football players could lead to brain injury with long-term consequences, but kept this information from players. The NFL has long denied these allegations. Brain injury lawyers believe that more denial could be futile after a report released by the PBS series Frontline and ESPN claimed that the NFL has paid millions of dollars in payments to former athletes who suffered brain trauma with long-term disability.
The article that was published in ESPN and the PBS series Frontline claims that the National Football League made payments through its Bell-Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan. This is a committee that mainly consists of athlete representatives, owners as well as the NFL commissioner.
According to the report, the payments were made back in the 90s and early 2000. The article quotes one letter that was written in 2000 by the director of the retirement plan. The letter clearly states that Mike Webster, who retired in 1990, suffered a disability that was the consequence of a moderate injury suffered during his career as a player with the NFL. Webster played with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs. He died in 2002 from his injuries.
The ESPN article also cites that money was paid to Gerry Sullivan and another unnamed player.
Former athletes have accused the NFL of knowing that frequent and consistent concussions suffered by football players over several seasons could lead to long-term brain injury, and concealing this important information from players. Several football players have suffered brain damage, and the injuries have been blamed on the frequent concussions suffered during the sport.
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