Concussions and brain injuries can adversely affect the emotional state as well as the mental state. Professional football player, Dave Duerson, spent close to a decade on the football field taking and delivering hits and we wish that his career could have ended on a positive note. Instead, Duerson committed suicide last year, and his family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL and against a helmet manufacturer.
The family alleges that the league should have done more to treat and prevent concussions. The family is asserting that the concussions that the former player suffered resulted in brain damage and ultimately led to the player killing himself.
It is being suggested that the NFL failed to educate players about the signs and dangers of concussions. “They not only dropped the ball, they maintained until current times that there was no connection between playing football, receiving concussions and brain damage,” the family’s attorney was quoted as saying.
There’s no way to predict what the actual outcome of this lawsuit will be or if indeed the concussions that Mr. Duerson suffered ultimately led to his committing suicide. Hopefully this will all be brought out at trial. Still, there’s little doubt that a connection between the concussions and the player’s mental state is entirely believable.
Football, played in New Jersey as well as every other state in the union, is a violent sport where injuries are going to occur. Yet even in such a sport we would hope that concerns about player safety would be factored in and efforts would have been made to reduce the possibility that brain injuries would occur.
Professional football brings in billions of dollars each year to the owners and we would hope that some of that money is put back in to protect players and educate them about safety.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “NFL notebook: Duerson family files suit for death,” Feb. 24, 2012