So I was out watching my daughter player soccer last weekend when I saw one of my fellow soccer dads pull up a chair. Now he’s a solid 6-foot-4 and I knew he played major college football. I also had an idea he played professionally. To confirm, I asked him. Sure enough, he played 5 years with an NFL team in the mid-1980s.
The next question was a little more awkward. “So are you part of a concussion lawsuit?”
“I am,” he said.
After a pause, he continued. “I just don’t want to be a burden to my wife if the symptoms from past concussion show up ten years from now.” The implication was that the window was open to make a claim, but it may not be open for long. I suspect a lot of ex-players feel that way. They genuinely care about their loved ones.
Other ex-players may see this as a way to make up for the relatively modest pensions. Some former players may be just greedy. However, many more, like Former Detroit Lion’s defensive tackle and well-known actor Alex Karras, who was the name plaintiff in a suit filed Friday against the NFL, seem to be suffering the ill effects now from past concussions.
Susan Clark, Karras’ wife of 35 years said that “Alex suffers from dementia but still enjoys many things, including watching football. But dementia prevents him from doing everyday activities such as driving, cooking, sports fishing, reading books and going to big events or traveling. His constant complaint is dizziness — the result of multiple concussions. What Alex wants is for the game of football to be made safer and allow players and their families to enjoy a healthier, happier retirement.”
The Karras suit, which includes 69 other plaintiffs and was filed by Locks Law Firm and Mitnick Law Offices, “seeks medical monitoring and cognitive health benefits as well as financial compensation for the short-term, long-term and chronic injuries that he and his fellow football players have suffered.”