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After Ray Easterling’s suicide, wife describes a life of pain

rayeasterling AP

Ray Easterling, one of the more than 1,200 former players who have filed concussion-related lawsuits against the NFL, died in what police said was a suicide on Thursday, and his wife has described him as being badly damaged both physically and mentally from his playing career.

Mary Ann Easterling told FOXSports.com that her husband had suffered through depression and insomnia, both of which can be caused by head trauma, had been diagnosed with dementia last month at age 62, and had had 25 orthopedic surgeries.

He had been feeling more and more pain,” Mary Ann Easterling said. “He felt like his brain was falling off. He was losing control. He couldn’t remember things from five minutes ago. It was frightening, especially somebody who had all the plays memorized as a player when he stepped on the field.”

Easterling told the New York Times she will continue to pursue the lawsuit, and she wants the NFL to establish a fund for players with traumatic brain injuries. She faults the NFL for failing to give players adequate time off after suffering concussions.

“Half the time the player puts themselves back in the game, and they don’t know what kind of impact it has,” she said. “Somehow this has got to be stopped.”

Easterling played safety for the Falcons from 1972 to 1979.

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56 Responses to “After Ray Easterling’s suicide, wife describes a life of pain”
  1. lolb23 says: Apr 21, 2012 4:15 PM

    These same things happen to people who never once step foot on a football field. BS lawsuits.

  2. Soulman45 says: Apr 21, 2012 4:20 PM

    This is bad something have to be done maybe some peoples just should not play football.

  3. jenniferxxx says: Apr 21, 2012 4:26 PM

    Only a large chunk of money will make them feel better.

  4. tjh9985 says: Apr 21, 2012 4:35 PM

    The concussion part is unfortunate, but the orthopedic surgery part is entitlement. If you were to go around and ask people who worked hard labor(construction, mining, etc) their whole life how many of them have bad backs and knees, it would be almost every single one. You’re not unique in getting repercussions for your job, NFL.

  5. EJ says: Apr 21, 2012 4:39 PM

    The NFL has known about this for many years…

    The players that played before the NFL officially announced it should be taken care of.

    In order to play the sport from now on, the players should be fully informed about the risks and asked to sign an agreement that they acknowledge the facts of long term problems from playing.
    If they choose to continue, then all blame rests on their own shoulders.
    If anyone disagrees with the large sum of money that these players earn, take a look at some of the players from the 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s and check out what they are dealing with physically and or mentally, It might change your mind.

  6. larryfinfan says: Apr 21, 2012 4:40 PM

    I’m saddened that these guys have had so many problems and many can probably legitimately be traced back to concussions, as we now all know…
    The thing is, is this really the fault of the NFL ?? She said herself that many players have and probably still will try to not be pulled out of games for getting ‘dinged’. How is that the fault of the NFL ?? It’s like smokers suing the cigarette companies for getting cancer. Obviously, we all know more now than we did 20-40 yrs ago, but how is cancer the fault of the cigarette people ?? I’m overweight, I’m going to sue the beef ranchers for making me this way…Where does personal responsibility end and someone else’s responsibility begin ?? Should the NFL and more importantly, the NFLPA be more involved in treating concussion symptoms of past players and even current players, absolutely, but where is the accountability to the individuals in this mess ? Just like the treatment and care of past players suffering from this issue needs to happen, the practice of suing of everyone over an individuals responsibility needs to stop too…

  7. 49erdynasty says: Apr 21, 2012 5:10 PM

    In all fairness, current players don’t even want to be held out of games (and that’s despite what we know today).

  8. Deb says: Apr 21, 2012 5:11 PM

    lolb23 says:

    These same things happen to people who never once step foot on a football field. BS lawsuits.
    ————————————————–
    You’re missing the point. Yes, people who’ve never played football suffer from insomnia, depression, dementia, and orthopedic injuries. But these health issues were early onset, chronic, and apparently interrelated.

    I don’t know what’s sadder, reading about a man enduring this kind of ongoing mental and physical torture … or realizing how many people are incapable of feeling a drop of empathy for the suffering of others. Having had 28 surgeries and three battles with cancer myself, I’d rather live with the pain than be heartless.

  9. 7to10for6allday says: Apr 21, 2012 5:16 PM

    Seriously! Do you really need a doctor to tell you that if you smash your body for X amount of years that there will be side affects?? I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but these guys are the same players that would go back in the game no matter what. BS lawsuits, the nfl just needs to throw a little cash at them and tell them good luck. We all have choices, which includes deciding to play Football.

  10. blameitonthemoney says: Apr 21, 2012 5:40 PM

    I have no sympathy for anyone who suffers from a chose they made. Life is about choices, and consequences. If you make the choice, you live with the consequence. If a police officer gets shot and killed in the line of duty, that’s his choice of a career. If a football player suffers from physical and mental issues related to playing a game, that’s a choice he made. I guess they think we are all stupid and don’t understand repeated head trauma doesn’t cause longer term issues? Really? You didn’t know that? They don’t seem to care when they are signing multi-million dollar contracts then reducing the level off pay soon after the ink is dry. If these guys in the 70’s and 80’s weren’t making millions, its irrelevant. They chose to play the game and now they must deal with consequences. It’s a scam to get money for guys who have made poor decisions with the money they made. Just the like these guys dying from cancer (see Carolina Panthers) as a result of steroid use, it’s the choice they made. Now they want to biggest pocket to pay them for something? Does money make the pain go away? It’s impossible to determine if injuries occurred in high school or college or the pros. Yet for some reason they all seem to be on the same page going after the NFL. What about college guys who never made it to the NFL? Or high school kids? Should they go after Walter Camps estate? This is all typical of the American Victim mentality. Everyone is a victim. I say we go after Walter Camp and his family! They are the ones who started all this!

  11. greggfletch1 says: Apr 21, 2012 5:42 PM

    It is really sad that these people are suffering, but they wasnt playing cards and they knew that. Make EVERY player thats in the NFL or wants to be sign a waiver. IF they dont want to then they cant play period. They may have real issues but its all about the money, plain and simple.

  12. blacknole08 says: Apr 21, 2012 5:44 PM

    I do think this story is tragic and I’m very sorry for this woman’s loss. But it still sounds kind of like a quick ploy to make some money. I feel more for the Vets that go to war and come back with similar, if not more painful, life-enduring injuries and scars.

  13. larrybrown43 says: Apr 21, 2012 5:50 PM

    I just don’t know if this couple or an other ex NFL family would’ve walked away from the game and their income if given the information. It’s easy to log back at 60 and say you do things differently at 25. However, 25 year olds are still playing today with symptoms and saying to hell with how I feel at 60. An example, Sydney Crosby. If the NHL banned him due to long-term safety concerns they would be sued by Sid The Kid and his family. Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t.

  14. lolb23 says: Apr 21, 2012 5:51 PM

    I don’t know what’s sadder, reading about a man enduring this kind of ongoing mental and physical torture … or realizing how many people are incapable of feeling a drop of empathy for the suffering of others. Having had 28 surgeries and three battles with cancer myself, I’d rather live with the pain than be heartless.
    ________________________________

    No offense, but you’re a woman “Deb”. So no, I think it’s you who misses the point.

    BTW, I am only a few years removed from an organ transplant, and have had more than 28 surgeries in a year. So don’t play that “looking for sympathy” card here Ma’am.

  15. pftcensorssuck says: Apr 21, 2012 6:01 PM

    Wait a minute…….. this guy played NFL football for all of FIVE YEARS, and his career ended OVER THIRTY YEARS AGO??????

    There are a LOT of things that cause depression and insomnia. Hell, I know a LOT of people suffering from depression and not ONE of them played a down in the NFL.

    I don’t mean to make light of the man’s problems, but he didn’t take a hit ONCE in the last thirty years, and there are tons of safeties who played five years or more in the NFL who don’t kill themselves.

    By the way, does anyone think there might be a link between his suicide and the diagnosis last month of dementia????

  16. purplehayseuss says: Apr 21, 2012 6:07 PM

    I’m very sorry for your loss, Ma’am.

  17. eddiespostal says: Apr 21, 2012 6:10 PM

    I wrote a post about a week ago on this subject and got about 5 likes and 100 dislikes. What I wrote was this could be the end of pro football as we know it. As sure as I’m writing this our senators and congressman will have hearings on the seriousness of this problem. Like all other problems they think that they are the only people who can “fix” it. And how will they “fix” it? By regulating it out of existence!!!!!

  18. hatesycophants says: Apr 21, 2012 6:13 PM

    lolb23,

    We can safely assume one of those 28 surgeries (if they actually occurred) was to remove your brain. What does the orthopedic surgeries were an “entitlement” mean? You clearly have a child’s or foxnews viewer’s understanding of the definition of that term. What does gender have to do with basic common sense and compassion? I guess for our purposes these are the two things you lack?

    You are a terrible person. It is just that you should suffer.

  19. stew48 says: Apr 21, 2012 6:34 PM

    BTW, it is my thinking that many of the commenters here are descendants of the Roman folks who watched rather savage events. Some would probably attend a Lions’ game expecting to see wild animals raging after men.

  20. majbobby says: Apr 21, 2012 6:42 PM

    Again it is a VOLUNTEER sport. Don’t want to have the life after that could follow easy solution don’t play.

    Wait maybe I should sue the government because of my 10 knee surgeries back surgery shoulder and three concussions caused by IEDs because they did not properly warn me about what could happen to me while volunteering to serve in the military.

    No ONE forced these guys to play football.

  21. dumplingsrbrown says: Apr 21, 2012 6:43 PM

    Fireman, policement and military personel risk their live’s voluntarily for much less fanfare, glory or money than NFL players and I’m not hearing about lawsuits everytime one of them is injured or killed in the line of duty. I don’t think anyone wishes suffering on these players, but it is simply wrong to lay the blame on others when you could have simply walked away. And they can all say the NFL “knew” the dangers, but how could these college educated men capable of learning complex playbooks not have the slighest notion of the dangers of injury? The NFL is trying to put measures in place to prevent these issues and it is the players themselves griping about how the game is being made soft. Ridiculous.

  22. deadeye says: Apr 21, 2012 6:51 PM

    Even if Easterling received concussions playing for the Falcons, how does anyone know if he kept it hidden from the team or not? How does anyone know if he had them in college and/or high school as well? Blaming the NFL is just a money-grab.

  23. majbobby says: Apr 21, 2012 7:01 PM

    Question.

    Who here played football?

    Now those that played tell me that you were never told once about the potential injuries that can happen.

    If you will tell me you were NEVER warned you are LYING.

    Bunch of guys looking for another payday from the NFL.

  24. east96st says: Apr 21, 2012 7:02 PM

    ” but how is cancer the fault of the cigarette people??”

    Um, because they deliberately concealed the adverse health effects of smoking and fought in court and in Congress to do everything they could, for as long as they could, to prevent ANYONE from warning the American public that there was a direct link between smoking and cancer, including suing doctors who told the truth and paying off unethical doctors to lie and say it was healthy for you. That’s how.

    http://www.who.int/tobacco/media/en/TobaccoExplained.pdf

  25. east96st says: Apr 21, 2012 7:08 PM

    To all of you who dismiss these lawsuits outright, do you realize that many of these men are unemployed and/or poor and/or disabled and it’s YOU paying for their medical care? You want to make sure you still on board when you know you’ll be paying more taxes to pay for these men and their care. We do, after all, have the highest medical expenses on the planet, with below average results, and someone has to pay the bills.

  26. majbobby says: Apr 21, 2012 7:22 PM

    East96st

    What you brought up is also wrong and yet people will praise Obama Care. Novel idea here and us what made this country great.

    Hey freeloaders pay your own freaking way and stop looking for handouts.

  27. dansnyder says: Apr 21, 2012 7:43 PM

    I’m 27 and I have similar problems. Such is life. No matter how bad you think you got it, you can almost always guarantee there are millions of people worse off. Enjoy life when you can, one day we will all be gone.

  28. thetooloftools says: Apr 21, 2012 7:57 PM

    Why don’t they also put shock absorbing impact cushions ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE HELMET?
    I think Don Beebee from the Buffalo Bills wore like a helmet inside a helmet kind of thing but the NFL needs to take a serious look at this. NOBODY wants to see players safety enforced more then I, but I also like to see the BIG HIT. The pasting of one human being getting bashed by another. The sweet sound of B*A*N*G ! The bone shaking thunder hit. But I also want the head to be protected.
    Those helmets are outdated.
    [And by the way… if you (the NFL) keep running game officials out there on the field with nothing more then baseball caps on their heads, one on them is going to get their brains crushed too.]

  29. thetooloftools says: Apr 21, 2012 8:05 PM

    blameitonthemoney = go to hell. Go hide in your basement and let everyone else in society do the heavy lifting for you. I suppose you think all the military people who died for your sorry (|) had it coming too.
    I would have paid your mother to have you aborted.
    She must be ashamed to have a daughter like you. I have never read something as stupid as your post. Do you lay awake at night thinking how you can raise “the idiot bar” the next day because if you do, your doing well.
    Now please go to the nearest freeway and sit in the middle lane.

  30. mhs8031 says: Apr 21, 2012 8:27 PM

    Thetooloftools,
    About the padding on the outside of the helmet–it does not work. The blow is much like having your brain sloshed in a car accident. It is the sudden stoppage, the physics of motion inside the skull, that damage the brain, not the impact. The only way to make it safe is to make head-to-head contact illegal. I had concussions in college, so I know a bit about it.

  31. electionconfidential says: Apr 21, 2012 9:09 PM

    RIP. As a lifelong boxing fan I’ve come to see the dark side of sports that include head trauma. If everyone hear understood what happens in these cases, we’d all be concerned / sympathetic. If you’re old enough think about / read about Jerry Quarry and his 2 younger brothers. This is a long, terrible way to die and the player’s families suffer awfully.

  32. mjkelly77 says: Apr 21, 2012 9:11 PM

    east96st says:Apr 21, 2012 7:08 PM

    To all of you who dismiss these lawsuits outright, do you realize that many of these men are unemployed and/or poor and/or disabled and it’s YOU paying for their medical care? You want to make sure you still on board when you know you’ll be paying more taxes to pay for these men and their care. We do, after all, have the highest medical expenses on the planet, with below average results, and someone has to pay the bills.
    ____________________

    It’s a zero sum game. We either pay for their care via increased taxes or increased ticket prices. If you only watch games on TV, you pay more for the products advertized during the games to cover the increased marketing costs. We pay one way or another. Only way to defeat the zero sum game is to buy more American products. Start with cars made by traditional American companies and stay away from Walmart which sells virtually every Chinese product manufactured.

  33. conormacleod says: Apr 21, 2012 9:26 PM

    I’m shocked at the number of heartless, ignorant, a-holes here. Comparing football to smoking? Saying nobody made them play? It’s obvious to the educated that players were not protected in the past. A more apt analogy would be if construction workers suffered a head injury because their employer let them work without hard hats, and continued to let them work after a steel beam hit them in head and knocked them out. That IS the responsibility of the employer. Are most of you telling me that every football player from the start of the NFL should have known to take himself out of games after a concussion? And are you also telling me his team would have been ok with that? Ridiculous.

  34. bouwel92 says: Apr 21, 2012 9:34 PM

    First off i feel bad that he ended his life, and thoughts and prayers go to his wife and family. Although i dont belive that his career is what made him suicidal. It could have been a million different reasons that caused it. And this is where the dislikes will come from, because some people are idiots, but he knew the risks he was taking regardless of the time of his career. Sueing does nothing for some cases, this bein one of them.

  35. chawk12thman says: Apr 21, 2012 9:35 PM

    I, like many of you, empathize with Mrs. Easterling for her loss and the pain her family is going through. I also believe that the NFL has made great strides in the area of concussion prevention, treatment and overall player safety the past few years. They straddle a fine line in protecting players while holding onto the integrity of the NFL Game. The size and speed of players today adds to the issue.

    The lawsuit will run its course and if you take the time to read the court document you get a sense of how complicated the issue is and how hard it will be for this to be resolved. The PDF file has been put out there and can be found at this site. http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/pennsylvania/paedce/2:2011cv05209/435351/4/

    I do believe that all NFL players knew that the game was violent and that they were subjecting themselves to possible concussions and other injuries. I am not sure that it can be shown that the NFL knew or should have known any more than anyone else in regards to the long term impact of concussions.

    That being said, I don’t agree and wouldn’t likely give anything to the plaintiffs here.

  36. conormacleod says: Apr 21, 2012 9:37 PM

    Another thing, the comparing to Police Officers or Military personnel is absurd. First of all, if those two professions get hurt their bosses don’t shove smelling salts under their nose and say get back to work. Second of all, if you are hurt, maimed, or killed in the line of duty you do get paid much more than if you simply retired. So tell me again, after their employer failed to protect them, why don’t they deserve some benefit? Or, to put it another way, if the NFL is not culpable, why are they being so diligent today to insure that players are protected better than they were in the past?

  37. yahmule says: Apr 21, 2012 9:49 PM

    conormacleod, if you’re shocked at the number of heartless, ignorant, a-holes here, all I can say is you must be new to this site.

  38. dumplingsrbrown says: Apr 21, 2012 10:03 PM

    This is not the same as “construction workers suffered a head injury because their employer let them work without hard hats, and continued to let them work after a steel beam hit them in head and knocked them out”.

    The NFL has consistantly worked on improving player safety. Helmets have improved, pads are improved and this equipment is standard and required. Player are penalized for intentionally removing their helmet on the field.

    The players may or may not have some merit to a lawsuit. That will be dependant on their ability to prove that the league knew about dangers beyond what was common knowledge and intentionally covered up the information they had, encouraging the players to go back on the field and risk further damage. No one thought concussions were good for you, but can they prove the NFL knew what the long term effects were any more than anyone else?

  39. beeronthefridge says: Apr 21, 2012 10:16 PM

    Yeah, let’s add every deceased nfl player to the lawsuit!

  40. beeronthefridge says: Apr 21, 2012 10:20 PM

    Yeah, let’s add every deceased nfl player to the lawsuit!

  41. east96st says: Apr 21, 2012 10:20 PM

    “What you brought up is also wrong and yet people will praise Obama Care. Novel idea here and us what made this country great.”

    One, my statement about our medical care costs and results is 100% true. Feel free to look it up. My mom was a RN for 45 years and there are three doctors, a nurse, and a PA in my extended family. I’ve seen the waste and the dysfunction in our system up close and personal. Two, in a previous post you claim to be a veteran. So, you know and I know – since I grew up in a military family, that you have lifetime, socialized, medical benefits paid for by the American taxpayer. I kind of doubt that anyone who claims to be a Major is so ill informed and writes so poorly and would parrot talk radio slogans. All the Majors I know are exceedingly intelligent and well educated men and independent thinkers. It’s fairly hypocritical for you to criticize people who don’t share your benefit of having lifetime medical care guaranteed, no limits, no lifetime maximums. No one but Congress has better coverage. If you really did serve, you earned those medical benefits. But recognize your situation is unique and in no way mirrors what the average US citizen has to go through to pay his/her medical costs. If you really did have 10 knee surgeries, and you were middle class and uninsured, you’d would have been bankrupt and lost your home after operation number three.

  42. ghlatty says: Apr 21, 2012 10:51 PM

    I do not agree with these lawsuits, however, the league should take better care of those who helped it grow to the empire it is today. At a minimum, vested veterans and any player forced out as a result of injury should have their medical expenses covered for life.

  43. vetdana says: Apr 21, 2012 11:00 PM

    dumplingsrbrown says:
    Apr 21, 2012 6:43 PM
    Fireman, policement and military personel risk their live’s voluntarily for much less fanfare, glory or money than NFL players and I’m not hearing about lawsuits everytime one of them is injured or killed in the line of duty………

    Dumpling…your forgetting the thousands who were killed and/ or maimed….who were Drafted into the service of their country.yes, I was one of them.

  44. majbobby says: Apr 21, 2012 11:26 PM

    East96st

    As a part of a military family you should know I pay taxes right. Name me A couple other jobs that actually pay into their own paycheck.

    This lifetime medical you talk about on the taxpayers dime is actually false as well. I again pay taxes. So I again pay into my medical. Additionally, when I retire I also still pay to keep my medical. Their is ONE time in my life I do not contribute to my own paycheck or medical and that is when I am deployed, that is the only time my paycheck is tax exempt to a certain point.

    Sorry if I do not like Obama Care. But again that really is not the point it is a voluntary game much like my job. I cannot sure the government claiming ignorance why should the players.

    Finally for the guy that said if we are hurt in the line of duty we will get paid for life at a good check. Wrong. A peer of mine just retired at 90% disability he is getting a huge 1800 a month in disability but yet I do not see him filing a class action suit on the DOD.

  45. east96st says: Apr 22, 2012 8:36 AM

    majbobby – Of course you pay taxes. That’s part of the deal. You knew that when you signed up. But, and here’s the point you’re missing, what you pay is fraction of what someone with a health history such as yours would pay on the open market IF you could find ANYONE to insure you at all. Which, honestly, after ten knee surgeries, I doubt that anyone would. I would never ask you to give up your medical benefits. As I said before, if you served, you earned them. But, just for laughs, try to get health insurance on the open market without telling them you are a vet. Just tell them your medical history. See how well you do. I have had insurance companies refuse my family because my son has had five separate ear operations in his first three years of life to preserve his hearing. They felt that was “excessive”.
    As for your point to another poster about disability, that’s 100% spot on. We do NOT do right by our veterans.

  46. mackie66 says: Apr 22, 2012 11:21 AM

    My heart and prayers go out to Easterlings wife and family.
    But how can grown men with college degrees not know that banging your head on something hard will eventually cause health problems, or concussions. Having played the game I know that ive taken several violent hits to the head and neck areas but at the time no one mentioned the word concussion. Fractured skulls was more on peoples minds. Concussions were something not worried about, but again, that was back in the late 60s early 70s. No one knew the long term effects. As always I believe everyone involved is at fault, if fault is what your looking for.

  47. Deb says: Apr 22, 2012 2:06 PM

    @lolb23 …

    So women can’t understand chronic medical problems, traumatic brain injury, or pain? That makes perfect sense, genius. And nothing, nothing in my post suggested I was looking for sympathy. Don’t want or need it. My life is good. I’ve known a lot of transplant patients, and none of them had 28 surgeries in a year. Interesting that it was just that number, too. But if you did, it’s too bad none of that difficulty touched your heart in a way that made you more empathic or caring toward others. You have my sympathy. You need it.

  48. majbobby says: Apr 22, 2012 2:57 PM

    east96st

    Again you are right about about the medical. But see it is the same thing. These Ball Players knew they would have issues when they signed up, yet they still did.

    I knew every risk when I played football, but guess what I still did it. These players knew the risk and yet they still played.

    I do have sympathy for their families, but it is their life path they chose.

    Just like when I read about one of them going broke I just think well it is their life they chose. Sorry if I do not get on board with these type of lawsuits, specially when they claim issues that they all knew could happen while playing.

  49. lolb23 says: Apr 22, 2012 4:25 PM

    So women can’t understand chronic medical problems, traumatic brain injury, or pain?
    __________________________________

    That isn’t what this is about at all. It’s you who has painted me as this monster, first by misquoting me (I never said anything at all about It’s about how you, as a woman, could never ever ever ever ever ever ever understand the alpha male’s need to play football. It’s simply chemically impossible because you lack the testosterone to have ever experienced the opportunity to ever have that choice. Same way I can never understand what it’s like give birth and never will. I can deal with that. Please stop being so offended by everything.

    You can feel sorry for whoever you want. But don’t act like this guy didn’t love playing football. If he didn’t, he would have played for 7 years. Period.

  50. lolb23 says: Apr 22, 2012 4:43 PM

    lolb23,

    What does the orthopedic surgeries were an “entitlement” mean? You are a terrible person. It is just that you should suffer.
    _____________________________

    You tell me. I never said anything like that all at in any post. Nice wishing suffering on me btw. Thanks. You live in Philly?

  51. Deb says: Apr 22, 2012 7:30 PM

    @lolb23 …

    Okay … dialing it back a bit. No, I don’t have the alpha male’s testosterone, but I’m an alpha female and can identify more than you know. Once walked out of a hospital post-surgery and drove 1,500 miles because health issues wouldn’t stop me, no sir. (Reached my destination and landed right back in the ER.) Spent four year wrecking my health working in a guerilla war zone because I refused to accept my limitations. And yes, I fully accept the consequences of my own choices.

    It’s a little different with these players. They didn’t, during Easterling’s time, understand traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome. And as you say, it’s almost impossible for a young alpha male to comprehend the journey from finely tuned athlete to where Easterling ended up. Yes, today’s players are well-compensated. But those who played before the mid-1990s crippled themselves while making others rich.

    Is it all the league’s fault? I don’t know. But the league has long had the resources to improve helmets and other equipment to lessen the damage–and until recently made no effort to do so. Maybe they should answer for that.

  52. lolb23 says: Apr 23, 2012 9:04 AM

    Deb, be honest. Are you even a football fan? Or is it more likely this particular story brought you here because you are instead more attracted to medical discussions? Because your comment about how “those who played before the mid-1990s crippled themselves while making others rich.” in incredibly inaccurate and soaked in slant. When the Jets drafted Joe Namath in 1963 he was paid $400,000. Players in the mid 70’s made an avg. in 35-40 thousand a season vs. 14k a year for the average working man (also, when the average home only cost 33k!) Take the emotion out it Deb, and please do deeper research. Peace!

  53. lolb23 says: Apr 23, 2012 9:07 AM

    But the league has long had the resources to improve helmets and other equipment to lessen the damage–and until recently made no effort to do so. Maybe they should answer for that.
    __________________________________

    This is totally inaccurate also Deb. The league has been taking precautionary measures to improve both player and equipment safety for decades. A real football fan would know that! :-)

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/341058-the-history-of-the-nfl-helmet/

  54. bobby2478 says: Apr 23, 2012 10:36 AM

    yahmule says:Apr 21, 2012 9:49 PM

    conormacleod, if you’re shocked at the number of heartless, ignorant, a-holes here, all I can say is you must be new to this site.

    ———————————–

    AMEN to that my friend. I’ve reached the point where unfortunately, there is little that surprises me anymore in way of human nature. I almost assume everyone is a heartless, ignorant a-hole and then find myself pleasantly surprised when I meet someone who actually cares about others.

    Welcome to the way of the future, where the old mentality of caring about your neighbor has gone out the window and people only care about themselves: everyone else besides them can go to hell.

  55. andrewklepp says: Apr 23, 2012 12:12 PM

    -Has the NFL ever sat down players and told them what the dangers of playing with concussions are: NO
    -Has the NFL ever showed their players pictures of damaged brains compared to healthy ones: NO
    -Has the NFL turned a blind eye to their retired players suffering from CTE and other traumatic brian injuries offering zero treament or aid up until 4 years ago: YES
    -Will they lose hundreds of millions, possibly billions in the upcoming class action suit: YES

  56. Deb says: Apr 23, 2012 3:18 PM

    @lolb23 …

    My mistake in trying to dial it back to an egomanical idiot using a player’s tragedy to try and prove he’s brighter than the room. Hint: When all you’ve got is couple of Googled paragraphs on helmet history that doesn’t even delve into the issue and the repeated assertion that you’re male and therefore know all, you aren’t brighter than the room.

    I’m a lifelong fan of the game and student of the game’s history. I’ve been a regular, daily commenter on both PFT and its sister college site for years. And I’ve been commenting on traumatic brain injury, helmet issues, and player safety issues for years as well. My posts have been extremely critical of Goodell for his knee-jerk reactions in fining players because he’s more concerned about giving the appearance of protecting players than actually protecting players. His concern for the appearance of safety was about warding off Congressional hearings and lawsuits.

    Yes, as the Livestrong brief noted :roll: helmet design has evolved since the 1920s. I was referring to something a little more complex, junior. The NFL has never taken an interest in sponsoring testing of helmet designs that might minimize movement of the brain within the skull during impact. Some helmet manufacturers in recent years have undertaken that research on their own, and the most promising design is the ProCap. Several players have saved their careers by switching to this helmet, and seven years of controlled field studies and user surveys have shown it could dramatically decrease the number and severity of concussions. But the NFL hasn’t mandated the use of this helmet because of their merchandise contracts with other manufacturers.

    These are the grownup issues I’m talking about regarding equipment and player safety. It doesn’t take testosterone to understand the game and these issues. It takes brains.

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