Hall of Famer Gale Sayers sued the NFL on Friday, claiming negligence in handling his repeated head injuries, according to a published report.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Sayers, who played for the Chicago Bears from 1965-71, states in the suit that he suffered headaches and short-term memory loss after retirement. He futher states that sometimes he was sent back into games after suffering concussions and that the NFL didn’t protect him from the “devastating concussive head traumas.”
The lawsuit also claims that the NFL did not do enough to warn him that playing through concussions could cause permanent brain damage, according to the report. It names other players who, after their deaths, were discovered to have had degenerative disease specific to repetitive head trauma as well as excerpts from books and news reports document impacts of head injuries on players’ lives. The suit seeks unspecified damages, according to the story.
The NFL agreed in August to a $765 million settlement to diagnose and compensate potentially thousands of retired players who develop dementia or other brain injuries they blame on the violent, bone-crunching collisions that pro football has long celebrated in its highlight reels. More than 4,500 former athletes — some suffering from dementia, depression or Alzheimer’s that they blamed on blows to the head — have sued the NFL since the first case was filed in Philadelphia in 2011. They accused the league of concealing the long-term dangers of concussions and rushing injured players back onto the field, while glorifying and profiting from the game’s violence. The settlement would cover all 18,000 former NFL players with the vast majority of it to compensate athletes with certain neurological ailments. It would also set aside $75 million for medical exams and $10 million for medical research.