Dorsey Levens completing concussion documentary

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Former NFL running back Dorsey Levens, who won a Super Bowl ring with the Packers in 1996, has been working on a documentary regarding concussions.  After 18 months, his work is nearly completed, in the form of a film entitled Bell Rung.

Levens tells D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that the effort has created plenty of stress.

I didn’t sign up for this,” Levens said.  “Now, guys think like I’m the official spokesperson for concussions in the NFL.  That’s far from the truth.  I’ve just been doing some interviews and letting people know about the documentary.  However, I do know a lot about the issue.”

He interviewed 35 former players for the documentary, and he now has players who look to him for help with the consequences of a career of concussions.  Per Ledbetter, one unnamed player recently called Levens to talk “about his persistent headaches, how he couldn’t afford treatment and how he didn’t plan to continue living if he didn’t get treatment.”

“I’m all for helping guys, don’t get me wrong,” Levens said. “But this is a lot.”

And while Levens is one of the many former players who have sued the NFL for concussions, he’s more focused on trying to improving the lives of the men who have suffered these injuries.

“My goal is not to worry about the legalities of it,” Levens said. “My goal is to let people know what’s going on and to get guys help.  I could care less about the case.”

And while the concussion cases could help continue to force the NFL to find ways to make the game safer, they won’t do all that much to make things better for the players who already are suffering from the effects of concussions.

10 responses to “Dorsey Levens completing concussion documentary

  1. A followup documentary detailing the known available treatments for damage from multiple concussions will be entitled “Unringing The Bell”.

  2. A quick settlement of the class action could actually improve the lives of ex-players suffering from post-concussion syndrome, by providing needed funds for specialized treatment that is not fully covered by health insurance. Furthermore, a speedy equitable settlement would also be beneficial to the NFL, by turning down the volume on this sensitive issue.

  3. Too bad they are having issues later in life associated with their chosen occupations. My brother retired as a bus driver after 26 years. Guess what? He has a bad back. Who’s going to pay for that? I know another guy who was a spray painter for 20+ years, and now he can’t stop coughing. I wonder if it’s related? Think the Painters Union will step up?

    The point is, these football players aren’t coal miners with families and no choices. They had choices, knew the dangers, and were swayed by visions of glory, fame, and cash. Can’t say I blame them, but it was their choice, nobody else.

  4. Unfortunately, the writing is on the wall.
    This may well be the last generation of tackle football the way we know it.

  5. @stellarperformance

    Perfect statement.

    My friend went to Afghanistan as a contractor and made a ton of money for working there for three months. If he died or was injured, it was just an accepted hazard of the job. In fact, in his paycheck it was itemized under hazard pay.

    What about all those soldiers dying overseas? Their families may get a small care package from Uncle Sam, but it’s not nearly enough. Last year I was at the Commissary on base and there was a widow buying food for her kids with food stamps. Is she going to sue? Probably not.

  6. Modern day helmets are protection/weapons and that makes it tricky.

    I think there is a case for considering going back to leather helmets.

  7. Where do people think the money will come from to pay for these lawsuits? The NFL makes money two ways – filled stadiums and advertising. We already watch 300 commercials a game on TV, and it costs upward of $500 for a family of four to go to the game. Add in all this new money for care of every player who has ever played and your model has just gone up in smoke.

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