The U.S. Third Circuit court of appeals upheld the legal settlement that will ask the NFL to pay former players for failing to warn them about the dangers of head injuries. According to the ruling, “this settlement will provide nearly $1 billion in value to the class of retired players.”
The big thing here, though, is that the NFL admitted that there is a link between football and CTE. This is something the NFL has deflected for as long as anyone can remember. In fact, the court’s ruling cited this connection and went so far as to say the NFL conceded to something that was “already known.” Thus, the court’s decision to uphold the ruling and not force the NFL’s hand any more is eyebrow-raising, to say the least.
The settlement can be broken down in numerous ways. As noted by Sports Illustrated, “Players diagnosed with ALS can receive a maximum of $5 million in compensation. Family members of players diagnosed with CTE can receive up to $4 million. Those with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases are eligible to receive up to $3.5 million. Players with neurocognitive impairment can receive up to $3 million.”
On one hand, the court upholding the settlement is something of a positive, progressive step toward the realization that there is a link between football and CTE, and that players should be compensated for it. On the other hand, it’s also a head scratcher that more wasn’t provided since even the league is conceding to something lots of other people admitted to long ago.