Pro Football Hall of Famer and legendary Dallas Cowboys’ running back Tony Dorsett, along with over 300 other former players, is suing the NFL, its teams and, in a few cases, helmet maker Riddell, claiming that these parties had some hand in the lingering health issues that linger for players as a result of their time in the NFL.
In a piece compiled over two months by the Associated Press, Dorsett and the others describe a culture of indifference toward injuries, including one instance in 1984 where Dorsett was knocked unconscious by a helmet-to-helmet hit in a game against the Eagles, only to return and gain 99 yards in the second half--a performance that he attributes to running the wrong way much of the time, as he struggled to remember his assignments.
“That ain’t the first time I was knocked out or been dazed over the course of my career, and now I’m suffering for it,” said Dorsett, who traces many of his health problems to his illustrious NFL career. “And the NFL is trying to deny it.”
Lawyers representing the players claim that the league could have done more in the past to address the dangers of head injuries--and still can do more to ensure the safety of former players, now and in the future.
“Yeah, I understand you paid me to do this, but still yet, I put my life on the line for you, I put my health on the line,” Dorsett says. “And yet when the time comes, you turn your back on me? That’s not right. That’s not the American way.”
You can read the full write-up with more interviews of the players involved in the case, as published in the Dallas Morning News today, here.
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