As reported by the Washington Post, Mark Rypien, former Washington Redskins Quarterback, filed a suit on March 23rd, along with 126 other NFL players, including 13 former Redskins players, seeking medical care and compensation from the NFL for "repeated traumatic injuries to the head" sustained throughout his career. According to the suit, Rypien suffered from multiple head injuries and concussions during his playing days, and is now suffering from "various neurological conditions and symptoms related to multiple head traumas." The suit was filed in U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, claiming that the NFL was aware of the dangers of "repetitive traumatic brain injuries and concussions for decades, but deliberately ignored and actively concealed" the information.
This is just one out of a rising number of class-action lawsuits against the NFL for traumatic head injuries. According to NFLConcussionLitigation.com, Rypien's suit adds to a number of 51 similar suits against the NFL. Attention to the issue of head traumas in the NFL has been increasing; this rise coincides with the timing of class action lawsuits from former players who suffered from traumatic head injuries. The first class-action lawsuit against the NFL occurred last fall, with a group of former players, including Mike Furrey, who suffered a concussion during Redskins training camp in 2009 and never played again. Since then the number of lawsuits against the League has steadily risen.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has repeatedly said that his goal is to lower the risk of head injuries in the League. In keeping with his mission statement, Commissioner Goodell has handed out heavy fines and suspended players for helmet-to-helmet hits in the past seasons. Along with changes to the rules in order to better protect quarterbacks and wide receivers, last season the NFL moved up kickoffs to the 35-yard line, decreasing the number of concussions by 40 percent.
Despite the regulations, padding, and helmets, these players face the risk of getting injured everytime they show up for work. Clearly, anyone can be injured on the job, even NFL football stars.