By Todd Quinones
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A tentative settlement is reached between the NFL and retired players over concussion-related lawsuits.
As part of the settlement, the NFL admits no wrongdoing.
In the legalized violent world of the NFL, big plays and big hits are all part of the excitement for fans who can’t wait for the start of another season.
“I think that we’re going to go all the way this year,” said an Eagles fan.
But Thursday’s $765 million dollar settlement is about what happens when the glory on the field fades.
Former Eagles running back Kevin Turner played eight years in the NFL.
He was diagnosed with ALS, which he blames in part to hits to the head.
He was thinking of his kids Thursday in a video released by lawyers for the players.
“That’s a big relief for me to know if I’m not here in two years they will all be able to go to college,” Turner said.
More than 4,500 former players had sued the NFL, some suffering from dementia, depression and Alzheimer’s, which they attribute to repeated hits to the head.
The players charged the league concealed information about the effects of head trauma.
The NFL denies that.
In a release, NFL executive vice president Jeffrey Pash said:
“This agreement lets us help those who need it most and continue our work to make the game safer for current and future players.”
CBS 3 Sports Director Beasley Reece is a former NFL player who is part of the class action lawsuit and president of the Philadelphia chapter of the NFL Alumni.
“I’m pleased that the players will have protection in case in the future they develop problems like dementia, ALS, cognitive issues,” said Reece.
For fans, the reactions have been mixed.
No one wants to see beloved players suffer in their retirement, but —
“It’s kind of stifling the game because all of the rules and new penalties that players are getting is kind of changing the way we watch football,” Eagles fan Blair Woodward said.
As part of the settlement the NFL won’t have to disclose internal files that would detail what if anything it knew about concussion linked brain problems.