Football is the most popular sport in America, and also its highest rated television program. For many families across the country, settling in for a relaxing Sunday with the game is the perfect way to spend the week.
In recent years, however, the NFL has come under serious fire from former players and their advocates, who point out that football carries with it some very serious health risks and that player’s safety is constantly put into jeopardy while in the process of playing this very physical game. Recently, the NFL settled a large lawsuit with former players who allege that they suffered serious head and brain injuries as a result of playing for the NFL.
Is It Enough Money?
The total amount that the NFL is responsible for paying out to players involved in the suit is $765 million dollars. This amount covers losses for 4,500 retired players involved in the suit against the league. Players who have been very seriously injured as as result of playing will be awarded larger amounts around $5 million dollars, while other players can expect to have their medical costs covered. $10 million of the settlement has been allocated to education and research.
While this is certainly a substantial sum, it is unclear whether it will actually be an adequate amount to cover players with medical problems that will affect them, their spouses, and their quality of life. Many of the injuries sustained by players are head, brain, and spine injuries which are very severe and generally permanent.
What Does It Mean For The Future Of The Sport?
According to the terms of the settlement, the NFL was not required to admit fault of any kind for the players’ injuries. The settlement also applies only to the retired players involved in the class action suit. This means that many players who are currently in the NFL may be subject to injuries and illnesses that they will not receive compensation for under the terms of this particular case.
It is very difficult to surmise the degree to which current players may be becoming injured because many of the diseases associated with the sport, like Alzheimer’s or ALS, develop sometime after a person is subject to the injuries that cause them.
The suit also did not stipulate that the NFL must make any changes to their current safety policies or the way that players are allowed to interact with one another. Because of this, many of the players involved in the lawsuit worry that though they have been compensated, future players may certainly be at risk.
Football Remains Popular
The fact of the matter is that football is an incredibly lucrative sport and piece of programming. It seems certain that the audience for football will remain and that the NFL will continue to be a very successful entity.
Perhaps as technology and research about safety increases, players can expect higher standards for their safety while still being able to continue playing the sport that America loves to watch.
Kenneth Gray is an expert at medical bills and is the CEO and Founder of A-Fordable Billing Solution a medical billing company http://www.afordablebillingsolution.com/.
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