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New Jersey lawsuit takes NFL to task for concussions

The NFL is being sued in New Jersey federal court for policies implemented by the league that may lead to a player's concussions. The NFL has for quite some time prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs to its players prior to the start of each game. One drug in question, Toradol, is a painkiller that was given to players that were not suffering any pain to begin with. Use of this drug only worsened and/or concealed the risks of brain injuries and concussions that the players faced.

This is just one of a number of suits being filed against the NFL concerning the league's failure to protect players from concussions. The NFL has denied that they've misled players in anyway and have been at the forefront of trying to understand the management and treatment of concussions. However, the league also failed to specifically address the use of Toradol.

The discussion of brain injuries among athletes has become headline news in recent years. This would particularly be true of football where much of the entertainment value involves physical blows inflicted upon opposing players.

Since the NFL is perhaps the number one moneymaker of any professional sport, football has very much become a big business. Owners of such professional franchises are for the most part billionaires and are making money off of athletes that are at risk for physical injury. Since such is the case, owners also own their players a duty of care to keep them as reasonably safe under the circumstances. If the NFL was to implement safety protocol, this might trickle down to college and high school leagues that might follow the example of the NFL.

The complaint filed in this matter alleges that players are lined up in the locker room to receive injections of Toradol in a "cattle call" with no warnings as to the risks of taking such a medication. However high a player's salary may be, no amount of money can make the risk of brain injury worthwhile.

Source: Associated Press, "New suit against NFL raises issue of painkillers," by Howard Fendrich, Dec. 5, 2011

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