Mawae speaks out against concussion settlement

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The current leadership of the NFL Players Association hasn’t said much about the proposed settlement of the concussion litigation.  The man who served as president of the union through the 2011 lockout doesn’t like it.

Former NFL center Kevin Mawae tells Terry McCormick of that Mawae believes the $765 million is “a small price to pay when the NFL is going to make $27 billion in profits over the next 15 to 20 years.”

The scheduled payout, with half of the money being paid in the three years after final approval of the settlement is obtained and the other half being paid over the next 17, makes the present value of the money considerably lower.

“$765 million,” Mawae said.  “That’s what they’re willing to pay now not to have to go all the way to court.  The biggest win for them is they don’t have to disclose anything, any of the information they they may have had since the late ’80s or early ’90s on concussions. . . .

“They may have had information back in 1994 that the players could have at least known all these years, but they paid to keep those that closed.  That’s what it amounts to.  There’s no disclosure anymore.  There’s no disclosure of any information they may or may not have had.  Information is power and when didn’t have to give that up [in court], you retain that power.”

He’s right, but the information could still be disclosed if a retired player with a real brain injury and the willingness to keep pushing the litigation overcomes a few litigation hurdles and forces the case to the discovery process.  That’s the real question over the next several months — will players who don’t know what they’ll get via the proposed settlement choose to opt out of it and pursue something more?

19 responses to “Mawae speaks out against concussion settlement

  1. He made more in his NFL career than most people will ever make. And he played a game. He should shut up.

  2. As a former lawyer, Florio can attest the first two rules of a lawyer is 1. Get paid and 2. don’t be the one that goes to jail. Well the players lawyers saw the writing on the wall and decided to get paid. Anyone that believed different is a fool.

  3. I’m actually kind of tired of hearing the players whine about concussions/lawsuits. Football is a rough game and these players have been paid well for whatever era they did play in as it is all relative. To complain now is like a person signing up for the armed services because they want the benefits, college paid for, monthly paycheck but then complain when sent off to battle by saying, “geez I didn’t know someone might be shooting at me some day”. If you played sports as a kid, you more than likely suffered a concussion…..but you kept playing because of your love of the game/sport.

  4. Mawae doesn’t understand that if it went to court it would take years to settle. Most of the injuried players would get nothing in their lifetime. Also attorney fees were not included in that amount. NFL I am sure won’t pay top dollar if agreement is accepted. If you go to court the fees get included and the players get less. I think some players should opt out if they are willing to wait but remember attorneys don’t work for free. 40% is a lot to give up and still wait. The NFL owners won’t fast track these cases. They will take years to settle if they stand up.

  5. Nonsense… There is an assumed risk you take when you decide to play professional sports. All of these players also had college educations paid for, they didn’t have to play pro football and assume those risks (and make a good amount of money in a short period of time)

  6. If the hypothetical player who rejects the settlement offer were to be motivated to do so in order to get more money than the settlement is offering, then all the NFL would have to do is settle with him directly. If the guy wanted more than money, say, to “bring the NFL to justice” or something like that, they might have a problem. That depends on in if the terms of the settlement prohibits anyone who opts out to sue the NFL for the same reason in the future, which I don’t know.

  7. If you didn’t know plowing your head into stuff was bad for your noodle than you failed to listen in grade 3 and that isn’t the NFL’s fault. That’s like joining the army without understanding you might get shot.

    “The Army failed to inform me of the dangers of bullets.”

  8. Yep, it is DEFINITELY about the health issues with comments like these. All they care about is the medical side. It is DEFINITELY not about the discrepancy between what players now make and before players did. Nope, not about money. Oh yeah, and their FUTURE profitability is definitely relevant to what happened in the past.

  9. These nfl players didn’t ruin the NFL. they got a fair deal. U play you pay, thats life. Everyone of them had a great gig, and I have appreciated watching everyone of them.

  10. I’m not sure Mr. Mawae understands the difference between gross revenue and profit.

  11. I don’t see where there was any deception on the part of the league. It always has been patently obvious that concussions will occur and long term problems are very possible.

  12. On my drive to work last week I was in a terrible car accident and broke my leg. I just sued my company because I had no idea when I was driving to work I could get in a car accident. They just told me to show up at 8 5 days a week but never said anything to me about risking my life every morning driving to the office in rush hour DC traffic!

  13. There was a player that played for the team I follow. He played during the ’60s and ’70s. He mentioned that during one game he got hit so hard on a play that he lost his sight in one eye for an entire half. He didn’t tell anyone and played the rest of the game. Now, if it happened to us and we lost our sight in one eye suddenly, wouldn’t you go to the doctor or ER right away? Now I am not condemning every player that was suing, but it seems like a lot of players who would keeping playing regardless of what happened to them on a play. They would hide the fact that they got hurt from everyone. I can give them so much sympathy as they are partially negligent for what happened to themselves. And of course, there are those players who decided to join the suit for a quick buck. Disgusting. Roger Staubach knew better.

  14. Yes, players chose to play the game. Most of them chose to do so when they were eight years old. I know concussions when they retire was something they thought about then. And you can’t say “they knew the risks and played anyways” if the ENTIRE POINT of the suit is that they did not know the risks because the NFL hid them.

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