Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett is suing the league now, saying it was and continues to be neglectful toward players and former athletes.
1984 was a life-changing year for Dorsett, a former running back, when he took the hardest hit of his career in a Cowboys-Eagles game.
“It was like a freight train hitting a Volkswagen,” Dorsett says now. “Did they know it was a concussion?” he asks rhetorically during an interview with The Associated Press. “They thought I was half-dead.”
After being examined, the doctors gave him to go-ahead to return to the field.
Working his hardest, he came back and gained 99 yards in the second half, but says he only got there by running plays incorrectly since he didn’t know what he was doing. He was dazed from the hit.
Now that he’s retired at 57, the former football player says the hits have taken their toll on his body and he’s now suffering the consequences with bad health and frequent reminders of his physically gruesome past. In fact, he claims to be able to trace several health problems due to concussions he suffered in his career.
He’s blaming the league.
But he isn’t the first player to come forward about the NFL’s lack of compassion and due diligence when it comes to players’ health. Several have spoken out and against the league for disregarding the well being of players during and after the sport.
“It’s not about whether players understood you could get a concussion playing football. It’s about the negligence of care, post-concussion, that occurred,” says Kyle Turley, an offensive lineman for the Saints, Rams and Chiefs who was the No. 7 overall pick in the 1998 draft and an All-Pro in 2000.
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