Jahvid Best, who suffered at least five concussions in his collegiate and professional career, has filed a lawsuit against the NFL, saying that it was aware of the risks associated with repetitive brain injuries but that it “deliberately ignored and actively concealed” that information.
Best, 24, is also suing Riddell, which manufactures NFL helmets. A former Detroit Lion, Best hasn’t played in an NFL game in more than two years.
Best’s lawsuit comes less than two weeks after U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody denied preliminary approval of the $765 million concussion settlement that was reached last year between the NFL and retired players, saying that it might not be enough.
So, what is going with the NFL and concussions these days?
“I talked to Roger Goodell at a Raiders game last year,” former linebacker Bill Romanowski said on The Morning Show. “I said, ‘Roger, I just want you to know, man to man, I did not get involved in this, and here’s why: I’m not looking for another paycheck. You guys paid me well for a lot of years, and guess what? I knew the game was bad for me. But if this suit was about programs moving forwards – health care, progressive medicine, hyperbaric oxygen therapy for the rest of my life, IVs, chiropractic (care) – I’m in.’”
Romanowski suggested that the NFL, which is involved with Wounded Warriors, should team up with Veterans Affairs to offer assistance to retired players in need.
“There are a lot of guys that aren’t as fortunate as I (am) that have played the game and don’t have options, a way to make a living,” Romanowski said. “They didn’t get their education, they don’t have health insurance, they’re banged up, they’re punch-drunk and they’re really struggling.”
It’s possible that the NFL, amid these lawsuits, could levy even more player-safety rules in the coming years.
“Maybe it’s something where they’re wrapping people around the ankles,” Romanowski said, only half-kidding. “(Maybe) they’re not delivering blows. (Maybe) they’re playing it a little bit more like rugby, where you’re not wearing a helmet and you’re not going to use your head as a weapon.”
Looking ahead to this Sunday, Romanowski, who won four Super Bowls – including two with Denver – is rooting for the Broncos. Asked if Peyton Manning has to win this Super Bowl to solidify his legacy, Romanowski went back and forth.
“It’s Peyton Manning,” he said. “But I know him. (I know) the kind of pressure he’s putting on himself. This guy wants it so badly. But I’ll tell you what. There (are) some mean, mean guys up in Seattle that are wanting to take this away from him and some guys that play a physical game that is very similar to some of those old-style defenses – the Chicago Bears, the Baltimore Ravens.
“I’ll tell you what: I’m really excited to see this game.”