PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 08: Colt McCoy #12 of the Cleveland Browns lays on the ground while speaking to athletic trainers after a helmet to helmet hit from James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on December 8, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
We've been down concussion road before during this offseason at WCG, namely with Sam's well-done piece on the potential (eventual) death of the NFL due to concussion-related lawsuits, but with news coming out over the weekend of yet another concussion-related lawsuit against the NFL, its time to check in again on where the problem currently lies, and what could be the backbreaker for the NFL.
With the newest lawsuit being filed, almost 1,200 former NFL players have sued the NFL due to concussions sustained during their playing days and the lasting, often debilitating impact they can have on former players' lives. The difficult part for the litigates will be to prove that the NFL had a conspiratorial knowledge of the lasting impact of concussions on players' lives and covered them up; or in the least promoted a culture of violence while refusing to investigate the impact this culture could have on the players.
The Saints' bounty system investigation was cited in the most recent concussion lawsuit (although no players that were purported targets of Saints' players under Gregg Williams were included in the lawsuit) as another example of the NFL's emphasis on hard-hitting action and entertainment with reckless disregard for the health and well-being of the players. Lawyer Bruce Hagen, who has filed two separate lawsuits against the NFL on behalf of thirty-three former players, described the bounty system's affect on the pending lawsuits: