Tragic story from Kansas City - a Chiefs linebacker killed his girlfriend and himself during the 2012 season in a well publicized tragedy. The player's mother and the guardian of his daughter have sued the Chiefs alleging they did not diagnose or address his concussion symptoms and they should have known he showed signs of cognitive and neuropsychiatric impairment.
Pro athletes put their bodies at risk every day - they play or practice nearly every day during the season, all pro sports have an extended preseason and off season conditioning and work outs. Yes, they make a lot of money (at least for a short time), but what happens when a player's career is over because of injury or he needs lifetime medical care, surgeries and treatment because of work related injuries?
Workers compensation can play a vital role for those players (and all workers) who were hurt on the job and can't work because of injuries, especially if their pro career lasted only a couple of seasons.
The lawsuit for this former player alleges he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), brain damage caused by repetitive hits and found on autopsy in several former NFL players who committed suicide. By the way, there was a great PBS special on chronic traumatic encephalopathy and the NFL a few months ago - about the attacks from the league against the pathologist who diagnosed the condition and related it to frequent concussions suffered by players.
Work is work - whether you're a pro athlete or electrician, steamfitter, plumber, mechanic, construction worker, driver, etc. - you have to protect yourself and your family. If you're hurt at work, take the time to find out about workers compensation laws and the complicated system you'll be facing before you sign any forms or file any paperwork the insurance company sends you.