Ongoing Debate Regarding Concussions in the NFL

Football has arguably become America's new favorite pastime, but it is also one of the most dangerous sports. All the rough hitting and tackling is of course what makes the game exciting, but this is also what causes severe head injuries for the players. Alan Schwarz was one of the first to write about all of the severe head injuries caused by the game we all love. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his journalism in this area and stirred the debate of concussions on a national level.

While there have been some improvements on behalf of the league to prevent these injuries, there is still a long fight and work to do in the future. Just last month six former players and one current player sued the NFL in Philadelphia over how the league has been handling concussion related injuries. If this case is successful, it will be the first class action cases of its kind. One accusation is that the league trains athletes to hit and lead with their heads. The NFL has been accused of "negligence and intentional misconduct." Another suit was brought in Los Angeles last month arguing that the league knew the harmful effects of concussions since the 1920s, but did nothing and even concealed it from players.

Santa Clara University School of Law in conjunction with the Athletic Department and firm sponsors is holding the second annual Sports Law Symposium on Thursday September 8 th. Concussions will be once again one of the four major topics discussed. Participants in this particular panel include:

  • Dan Coonan, Athletic Director, Santa Clara University
  • Don Gralnek, former General Counsel, San Jose Sharks
  • John Hogan, private practitioner specializing in football disabilities
  • Shawn Stuckey, retired NFL player, Associate at Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP

Information about the Sports Law Symposium:

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