Jim McMahon sues the NFL over concussions

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Jim McMahon is one of seven former players suing the NFL over health problems that they say are the result of concussions and other brain injuries they suffered on the field.

McMahon, the Bears’ quarterback in their Super Bowl-winning 1985 season, joins a group of players saying that the NFL was negligent and that players have suffered from headaches, dizziness and dementia because of injuries suffered on the field.

“The purpose of this lawsuit is to obtain proper funding to address these horrible long-term issues and to compel the NFL to establish a medical monitoring system to reduce the risk that current and future players will end up with the same kind of chronic mental and physical problems,” the plaintiffs said in a joint statement.

McMahon revealed last year that he is suffering from memory loss. He said that when he was playing, teams didn’t care if players suffered concussions.

“Back then, it was just tape an aspirin to your helmet and you go back in,” McMahon said.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Associated Press that the league will vigorously contest the claims.

The other former players involved in the suit are Ray Easterling, Wayne Radloff, Gerry Feehery, Joe Thomas, Mike Furrey and Steve Kiner. In July, a separate group of dozens of former NFL players announced that they were filing their own lawsuit against the NFL over concussions.

63 responses to “Jim McMahon sues the NFL over concussions

  1. And this my friends is why all the player safety rule changes are happening – in order to help prevent this stupidity in the future so that the NFL can say “well look as soon as we knew it was an issue we took these steps to reduce the risk”

  2. If he knew he had a concussion and was being told to go back in by coaches, Jim simply could have bitched out and declined. But he didn’t, and now he’s simply going to have to pay the price for it.

  3. i got a concusssion playing high school ball in 1992. i am suing my former coach and principal…this lawsuit should be throw out.

  4. I’m sorry, but I don’t feel sorry for any of these players.

    They’re playing professional football.

    Concussions are a risk, and every player knows that. I played from youth football at age 7 through my senior year in high school. 11 years.

    Of course, the level of competition in high school isn’t anywhere near the pro level, but you think I didn’t know the risks of football? And I wasn’t earning millions of dollars either.

  5. Re CaptainWisdom,

    The problem with concussions is that if you have one, you’re in no condition to determine whether or not you have one. Somebody else has to do that for you, and somebody else has to protect you from yourself. That falls on the trainers, coaches, and the NFL.

  6. Dumb, thats like driving your car…knowing you could get in a wreck…then sueing the car company for selling the car knowing good and well it could happen to anyone anytime behind the wheel…

  7. Lawyer for the motion posed the question, “Who in their right mind would wear a white flannel headband?”.

  8. His 30 minutes are up, so this is a thinley veiled attempt to get back in the spotlight. He never seemed to have his head on straight to begin with. The headband and shades and fur coates were the first giveaway, the Superbowl Shuffle video the second.

  9. If you look at McMahon’s antics even in college you would see that this is BS because he has had some form of brain damage for quite some time.

    This is nothing more than a bunch of guys that stuck their finger in the wind and realized there was a prime opportunity to make a buck.

    It’s not like there was some unknown chemical exposure that has caused health issues later in life. These guys chose an occupation that required them to wear a helmet because they were subject to violent collisions on a routine basis. They knew well in advance that there could be future health concerns but they chose to make their money via the NFL.

    Concussions are the big new story and everybody is running scared. This is why the league looks so inconsistent and crazy when they fine players for questionable hits. These clowns are simply trying to exploit the current climate and make some undeserved money.

  10. I don’t know if retired players know this, but much of the older American population suffer from general aches, memory loss, and widespread pain.

    Painkillers are the #1 most abused drug in America today. My parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents have a variety of health problems from having difficulty walking, to some dementia… guess what… none of them played professional football.

    If someone works as a janitor all their lives, and have to bend over to pick up waste and scrub floors etc… are they allowed to sue their employers after they retire for the chronic back pain they now experience??

    There is data out there that shows that people eat worse when they are traveling on the road. Should a salesman who drives around all day be able to sue his employer after the fact because they know the risk of bad eating habbits from driving all day, and the employer didn’t do anything to stop it??

    It’s just ridiculous. Every job has some drawbacks and some potential risk involved. We all make an evaluation when we ask ourselves is our salary worth all the risk and drawbacks? For football players, they get paid a lot of money to take on the risk, and then they complain after the fact when they ended up getting injured. Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways.

    Either take on the injury and physical risks as well as your lucrative salary, or don’t play at all and don’t take the money…

  11. NFL players make 10 times more money than average people for a reason. Youi might be at risk for injury in the NFL, and if you didn’t know that when you signed your contract you are a fool.

  12. “Back then, it was just tape an aspirin to your helmet and you go back in,” McMahon said.

    Thought Jimmy Mc revealed he was suffering from memory loss. This “back then” memory may not be accurate. How’s that lil’ ole asprin supposed to stay on your helmet? Pssssh

  13. Next up NHL players, soldiers, boxers, MMA and UFC fighters.

    These folks know the risk when they enter these professions. The lawsuits are ridiculous abuse of our legal systems.

    If in fact these NFL players win two things will come of it.
    1) A bunch of lawyers will make a whole lot of money while the players will see very little
    2)Sports such as hockey, football, boxing and mixed martial arts will surely become an thing of the past. Once the NFL players win, college and high school athletes will follow.

    Thanks Jim, maybe you should have been a chess champion.

  14. What’s next, Dwight Gooden sues MLB because he has a bumb shoulder. It’s called a job risk Jim, and you were paid quite well for your risk. Now if you are broke and dumb go get a job at Wallmart.

  15. I played football for ten years and cannot count the number of times I had my “BELL RUNG” on one hand. They were all concussions and the coaches would tell ya to shake it off and get back in there. A couple times I didn’t even remeber parts of the game. I disagree with the over protection of QB’s but concussions is something every contact sport should take a look at. Hockey is having a huge problem with it as well(I am Canadian 🙂 ) The players are getting to big, strong and fast and the equipment cannot keep up.

  16. Sue the NFL for an inherent risk you knew you were taking by playing the sport of football.

    Good luck with that Jim…I think you’ve been hit in the head too many times.

  17. captainwisdom8888 says:
    Aug 18, 2011 6:37 PM
    If he knew he had a concussion and was being told to go back in by coaches, Jim simply could have bitched out and declined. But he didn’t, and now he’s simply going to have to pay the price for it.

    —————————————————-

    The problem was and is a player that “bitched out” usually lost his spot to someone who was able to go in. Fear motivated a lot of guys who were injured to carry on even though they shouldn’t be out there. That fear caused more injuries and damaged their lives later on. A guy like MacMahon, who was a punching bag, could’ve benefited and played longer and live a better post NFL life, but he didn’t want to “bitch out”. You’re an idiot, get a life.

  18. britishraven: “And this my friends is why all the player safety rule changes are happening”

    That may be true, but it’s not the real reason why the NFL should be concerned about it.

    The NFL is thoroughly lawyered-up, so they can handle lawsuits against it over brain damage. They are also more than capable of defending themselves against attempts by do-gooder activists and politicians to have their game watered down through federal regulation. But what they have absolutely no defense against is the prospect of the parents of the next generation of would-be players deciding football is just too dangerous to allow their sons to play, and steering them toward other sports they perceive as safer, or toward piano lessons, debate club or what have you. No sport can survive without players, and neither can the NFL.

    That, my friends, is the elephant in Roger Goodell’s office.

  19. Back in the 80s, when the Bears were making that Super Bowl run, I remember reading an article on McMahon where he said in practice, if somebody made a great play, they’d celebrate by trying to knock each other out by headbutting each other. I don’t know if if he was joking or not, but it’s kind of hard to take this seriously remembering that quote.

  20. lol, most of ya’ll have never played football in your life and yet you want the guys in this lawsuit that played at the highest level.

  21. I think step ARE being taken to limit player injury due to concussions. What happened back then was people didn’t know any better. Getting you “bell rung” no longer means going back into a game. They also need to pad the OUTSIDE of the helmet like Don Beebe did of the Buffalo Bills. That helmet was a great idea. Why not disperse the hit at the point of impact?

  22. When it comes to concussions, every player knows that your job is at risk for every single play you sit on the sidelines recovering. There is tremendous pressure – overt and implied – to “play through it” . . . or else.

    Those who claim that brain trauma is an acceptable risk either never played themselves, or are too myopic to understand all sides of this issue.

    That said, I hope the plaintiffs are more focused in increasing awareness and redressing genuine grievances, and less focused on cashing in.

  23. get ready for the new rule

    crack your coconut once during the season, you must sit out one week

    crack it a second time, and you must sit out three weeks,

    crack it a third time in a season and you will have to sit out 6 weeks

    crack it a 4th time and you go on IR

  24. Wouldn’t this be like joining the army and then suing if you get called to war? You know the risk you take when you sign up to play football. It’s high risk, but high reward. This lawsuit is a waste of everybodys time and money!

  25. Sorry that your hurting, but people would take you more seriously if YOU took it more seriously. STOP THE SHTICK JIM…
    “tape an aspirin to your helmet and you go back in”???

  26. Sad that one of Ditka’s big bad Bears is now acting like such a vag. Long term care? Look how much players get paid now; quit spending it frivolously and you would be able to pay for it. You CHOSE to play the sport for a lot of money, that was a CHOICE. You CHOSE to get hit; stop your bitching.

    And yes I know Mac didn’t make millions then, but he made good money and he chose to play football as a career. This lawsuit, and any like it, should be tossed immediately. Our country is such a joke sometimes.

  27. I had 7 concusions my jr and sr years in High school while playing hockey. I still to this day have symptoms of what my doctors call PCS.

    But i would never sue because it was my choice to play. I didn’t have to. And i didn’t even make any money.

    These guys knew there was a problem at the time. If you can’t see straight and feel like throwing up after getting hit in the head, it seems obvious to stop what you are doing. Jimmy boy needs to man up and deal with what happen to him just as i am.

  28. gman41 says:
    Aug 18, 2011 6:57 PM
    I played football for ten years and cannot count the number of times I had my “BELL RUNG” on one hand. They were all concussions and the coaches would tell ya to shake it off and get back in there. A couple times I didn’t even remeber parts of the game. I disagree with the over protection of QB’s but concussions is something every contact sport should take a look at. Hockey is having a huge problem with it as well(I am Canadian ) The players are getting to big, strong and fast and the equipment cannot keep up.
    ———–

    gman, I think you’re right, but the problem is that they didn’t know the affects of concussions back then, but now they are acting as if it were common knowledge but the NFL deliberately withheld the information. That is what I have a hard time with.

    The NFL couldn’t have “protected” the players from an unknown serious risk because the link hadn’t been discovered yet. Until just now. Which is why they are now making rule changes to further protect the players (even though the players are bit**ing about it).

  29. He’ll have a tough time proving his LT effects didn’t occur during college at BYU or HS for that matter…..he chose this way of life….he’s a millionaire…that’s the price you pay for fame.

  30. @12is3times4
    __________

    there will always be poverty so there for there will always be football!

  31. Are his problems due to football…Or all of the heavy drinking he did while he played, and since?

  32. This is why you hear talk of eliminating kick-offs and the rule changes re “player safety”:
    L-I-A-B-I-L-I-T-Y

  33. I’m going to sue my employer for damaging my eyesight. I now have to wear glasses because I look at a computer all day.

  34. Thanks Jim.At 15, my granddaughter was hit in the head with a softball hit. Unconscious for ten minutes. Went from good grades to failing. she STILL isn’t right. It has been heartbreaking. She is 17 now.. Two coaches at practice..she turned her head to listen to one, Wham! Batter was given the go ahead

  35. Not buying this BS; McMahon acted like a guy with brain damage BEFORE he got his first concussion.

    Jim, the doctors can tell the difference between an immature moron and a guy who suffered a real concussion.

  36. nineroutsider says: Aug 18, 2011 7:13 PM

    The NFL is no angel, but this lawsuit will get crushed. Are they suing their peewee, high school, and college teams too?

    ______________________________________

    Very true, you can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the NFL caused you issues. C’mon man, he’s been getting his bell rung his ENTIRE life.

  37. I just find it funny that while all these ex-players are making claims or requesting more help, the current players are upset that the league is “softening”.

    Couldn’t be a group of people more confused about what they want. I guess it’s only good when you benefits you in the now…

  38. when you see the ridiculous law cases brought against people/places/companies….etc, i think jimbo is totally in his right mind to sue the nfl. ask this question: would these guys have said they were ok to go back in and play (or whatever the case may be) if they knew they might not have a normal functioning brain in ten years? even if you say yes the nfl should have wondered if these guys were paying a steep price to keep the (back a few years) million dollar ball rolling. why is it that players (i.e the workers) have no right to complain just because they are given a job while the owners(businesses) reap all the profit? i`ll bet all the g.o.p lovers on this site or a great majority reside in the worker camp but still through voting bite their nose off to spite their face. what fools.

  39. The weakest part of the case is that they are trying to apply TODAYS’s knowledge about head injuries to what we knew 25 years ago. Does not work like that Jim. Discovery through research is not retro-active.

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