Dorsett decries “inhumane” treatment of players regarding concussions

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On Monday, the concussion settlement took a giant leap toward becoming official.  Regardless of the debate among former players as to whether the deal goes far enough, one prominent Hall of Famer believes that the process of cleaning up the mess won’t undo the damage.

“To still subject us to that situation, I just thought it was inhumane,” running back Tony Dorsett recently told the Dallas Morning News as to allegations that the league and the teams withheld information about the true risks of head injuries.  “I just can’t believe one human being would treat another human like that. . . .  I just find that really hard to swallow.  I wouldn’t do my dog like that.”

Dorsett added that the settlement “doesn’t make up for anything,” and that it merely signifies “that we finally got the owners to do the right thing.”

His comments come at a time when his cognitive function, per the Morning News, seems to be slipping.

“My brain is priceless,” Dorsett said.  “There isn’t enough money that they can give me to make me want to look the other way.”

If that’s the case, and if other players feel that way, they should perhaps opt out of the deal and proceed with the litigation.  If they believe that the NFL deliberately hid information about the consequences of concussions, the best result won’t be to cash a check but to force the folks responsible for that behavior to answer for it in a court of law.

47 responses to “Dorsett decries “inhumane” treatment of players regarding concussions

  1. Can’t believe the nfl was dumb enough to lie to players about concussions for so long. And the horrible thing is when it came time to pay the piper the cost was cheap.

  2. It was “inhumane” for you to run through a LB with your head down, also, Tony. It’s ALL YOUR FAULT that you might have CTE, moron. NO ONE forced your to play this game and make millions.

  3. Sadly for Dorsett and others, it’s taken nearly 80 years of maltreatment of NFL veterans, to get to this point. The point where players are actually thinking about their quality of life after football.

    He should know that the league will fight to the end to retain all of its riches. This is a teaching moment for today’s and tomorrow’s players.

    Only new CBA provisions or a favorable court will change anything. Even the NFLPA is against aiding past players.

  4. This is the same as the lady spilling hot coffee on her lap and then suing McDonald’s, claiming ignorance. It’s completely bogus.

  5. it is starting to look like many made deals with the devil… w/o realizing consequences

    don’t think anyone knew what was going on

    love the game.. wish all the players well.. hope football and adapt w/0 losing its essence

    more should be done for older players

  6. but.. Tony.. YOU are one that was well paid so hopefully YOU have means for treatment

    and leave the dog comment alone.. I generally care more about dogs than many people

    all the best… even if you were a stinking Cowgirl

  7. Tony,

    I’m sorry you are suffering and I truly do hate that you are suffering the real effects.

    However, you CHOSE to play. If someone had warned you, you still would have played. I know a few players myself and I have warned them. EVERY SINGLE TIME they say “IT’S WORTH IT, I WILL KEEP PLAYING”.

    Don’t sing this song now when them warning you wouldn’t have effected your decision.

    By the way, any player who didn’t have the common sense to know that running a 4.4 40 at a 250 LB with your head down could give you brain damage probably had brain damage BEFORE they ever played football.

    I love this sport and I love what you guys are able to do but don’t lie to us all and make the owners seem evil when you knew it all along and are just in it for a cash grab now.

    You guys are mad because you got paid half of what players do now. It’s not the fault of current players the NFL didn’t bring in as much money in the 70s and 80s as it does today.

    Hopefully players save their money and don’t go spending 50k at each dinner. Players get mad when they go on Twitter and talk about that but then get heat. Then those same players are the ones who are begging for more money later on. Save your money and be smart with it so that way you don’t look like a complete idiot in 10 years after retirement claiming things that common sense should tell you to begin with!

  8. greenwhodat26 says:
    Jul 9, 2014 1:41 PM
    It was “inhumane” for you to run through a LB with your head down, also, Tony. It’s ALL YOUR FAULT that you might have CTE, moron. NO ONE forced your to play this game and make millions.

    I think something is wrong with your brain. No corporation or business can legally hide information that affects the health of its workers. That is why they are paying. You should get your brain check, oh wait, that would be a waste of time

  9. greenwhodat26 says:
    Jul 9, 2014 1:44 PM
    This is the same as the lady spilling hot coffee on her lap and then suing McDonald’s, claiming ignorance. It’s completely bogus.
    Yeah exactly the same, life threatening versus isolated pain, what a dope

  10. Why is this still news? If I got paid millions for a few years to repeatedly run full speed into other guys, I’d understand the risks. And seriously, they probably spent more years in college, high school, and prior doing the same thing. Why is it all of a sudden the NFL’s fault?

  11. If anyone thinks the NFL has, or ever had, the players’ best interests at heart, I have a bridge in New York for sale and some prime acreage in Florida, too.

    Players are nothing but raw materials or resources to be exploited for profit. Football is Big Business first, last, and always. It’s about money. Period.

  12. Um, pardon me for saying this, but I don’t think concerns about concussions are a new thing in the NFL. In fact, if I remember correctly, Dorsett’s first QB in Dallas (Roger Staubach) retired over concerns about too many concussions.

    Also consider the fact that today, we have much better medical information about the long-term effects of concussions than we had back 30-40 years ago.

    There’s no question that some former players have had long-term debilitating effects from playing the game, and some (such as Jim Otto) are extremely severe. But plenty of players played the game hurt back then just as many do so now.

    For any player, even those who played 40 years ago, to assume that there would be no long-term negative physical effects from playing football is naive.

  13. Not same as the “hot coffee” incident (google it for the truth), it is however a money grab by former players. We’re not talking about football in the 50’s. These were well educated professionals, not 12-15 year old kids. They knew the risk they were taking smashing their heads against each other at full speed. I bet he’d do it again (for the right price).

  14. Read about the history of football:

    When the game was first developing, players actually DIED from head injuries.

    Helmets evolved and made the game somewhat safer.

    But there are still risks and always will be. Players know that or they are just being naive.

    No one is hiding any information.

    We ALL know that football is dangerous: its been documented for over 100 years.

    Give up the whine already. You voluntarily signed contracts to play despite having tons of publicly available information that says you might get hurt.

  15. Dorsett should perhaps look at the union and current players. They’re the reason retirement is crap for NFL players and there is not enough medical coverage. Course Dorsett probably didn’t want any of his paycheck going to other retirees either.

  16. Business is most always about money, what other reason would you be in business for? If you run a business and do not care about profit then you would not exist long.

  17. According to the linked article, the lawyers are going to make $112 million off of this settlement.

    The players will never understand that the lawyers just used the players greed to make themselves richer, not the players.

    Most of the players will receive nothing, which is what they deserve but every lawyer, deserving or not, will receive millions.

  18. Businesses are FOR PROFIT entities!!!!

    They (businesses) can do great things for the communities they serve, philanthropic and all that when profits are there.

    Without profits, there are no jobs, paychecks, services, goodwill to the community, etc.

    The business has to thrive for other positive things to happen.

    So, I NEVER understand when someone says: …..”they are just looking out for the almighty dollar.”

    Uhhh, well, yes……BECAUSE THEY ARE A FOR PROFIT BUSINESS!!!!!!!!!

  19. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jul 9, 2014 1:41 PM

    “I just can’t believe the NFL would deliberately keep information from people either”
    Sincerely, the tobacco companies

    I was coming to write something similar. It happens multiple times every day in the name of corporate profits and bolstering stock prices. Either profit from it yourself or get out of the way. It ain’t ever changing.

  20. Football has its risks and players know that, it is common sense. When players ram into each other, there are risks. At least they have protection. Also, they get millions for doing it. Think about the risks that NASA astronauts take with their lives and they get paid a lot less. These NFL players are making millions. They make 5 times more than most world leaders.

  21. I’m tired of people saying you had a choice!

    If the company you work for pays you pennies cleaning up asbestos and they know it’s terrible for you. Would you say well you had a choice.

    The amount someone gets paid doesn’t change the principle.

  22. Giving these guys that info would not change a thing. When I played growing up, everyone knew the biggest threat was paralysis and that didn’t stop anyone.

    That being said, they do need to provide health care for the vets.

  23. …right, because someone twisted your arm to play, and to collect that pay-check. It’s a game of collisions, same as it was when you signed up Tony.

  24. And this, coming from a guy who more often than not chose to step out of bounds instead of attempting to gain a few more yards and taking a hit. I’ve never quoted Jim Brown, but Ill make an exception: “Tony Dorsett is not a running back, he’s a businessman.”


  25. And yet when the Cowboys told him he was done, he went and signed with the Broncos to play a couple more years. Can’t have it both ways Tony.

  26. Funny, I know that playing football can cause damage to ones body and brain over the long term, and the NFL has never educated me about it either? How did I get this information that only the NFL must have known about? Could it be… dare I say… common sense?

  27. I guess my question is why is it the responsibility of the NFL? Shouldn’t it be the responsibility of the Players Union?

    My cousins worked for a union for years, and when they retired, they don’t go to the company for anything, they go to the union?

  28. …and then the NFL (Goodell) lied about the whole entire bounty scandal to separate themselves from further litigation..

  29. No one held a gun to your head to make you play. You wanted the big money, you got it and now the hand that fed you is inhumane! What a joke!

  30. 99 yards and a half!

    I actually liked the Cowboys back when this guy played…

  31. My mom told me at the age of 4 not to run as fast as I could into a wall. Mr. Dorsett and others were apparently not given the same advice. But the flip side is that they got to live like rock stars for a decade plus while I’m just an average joe.

  32. Come on guys we can’t wait for Sunday,s at 12:00 noon. So we can watch these guy knock hell out of each other. I’m talking about players like Junior Seau, this man was a beast an he committed suicide. Players pay the ultimate price, for what they do. And they get paid very well. But! they don’t make a third of what owners make. The NFL should take care of their former players. They made this league what it is today.I’m sure Junior’s wife and kids really appreciate these negative comments. THEMBOYS 4LIFE.

  33. I think he just wants the owners to provide better healthcare for the older veterans

    There hasn’t been one player I know of who has decided to NOT to accept the money to play

  34. I hate to sound harsh but I don’t need to be told by a doctor that it could be life-threatening to continuously run my head into a brick wall at high speed.

    These NFL players, the guys we watch every Sunday, know the dangers that come with the sport but as long as they can sign the big contract they will risk it.

  35. pats1944 says:
    Jul 9, 2014 2:44 PM
    I’m tired of people saying you had a choice!

    If the company you work for pays you pennies cleaning up asbestos and they know it’s terrible for you. Would you say well you had a choice.

    The amount someone gets paid doesn’t change the principle.

    3 17
    Report comment

    Their CHOICE is whether to play football or not.

    They do NOT HAVE to play football.

    They WANT to play football even WITH the associated dangers.

    They may purse many other jobs like the rest of us do.

    YES, they DO have a choice.

  36. It’s ALL the NFL’s fault…pee wee, high school and college NEVER had any effect…just the NFL!!! RIGHT!!!

  37. He’s still sour about Darrell Green chasing him down on national television….HTTR

  38. Whoa whoa whoa! You’re trying to tell me that playing a full contact sport can get you possibly injured!? Mind. Blown.

  39. Once a person is no longer employed by a company that offers a group health care plan, insurance companies have the unilateral option of declining coverage to anyone for pre-existing conditions. I worked for companies for 20+ years before starting my own business, and I was declined an individual healthcare policy by every company in the US because of pre-existing neck problems due to a car accident as a teen. I had an injury that landed me in ICU for 3 days…bill = $50,000. Do I deserve to be chastised for not having saved enough of my $50-$75k/year salary (before taxes) to easily pay that bill? What if it were a recurrent injury that cost that much annually?

    Imagine an NFL player earning the league minimum for a few years as a special teams player before his career ended due to multiple concussions. Could he conceivably accrue up to $200-300k in medical bills (easy to do when treated by neurologists and other specialists) to treat concussion-related medical issues? What if that becomes an annual expenditure? Did these guys know those types of medical expenses were in their futures? How many have been turned down for individual policies because of their various pre-existing conditions? Money can buy a lot of things, but it can’t buy you an individual health insurance policy.

    How many of you calling these ex-players “cash grabbers” who “blew all their money” have EVER found yourselves in a bind because you couldn’t get healthcare coverage due to pre-existing exclusions, no matter how much you were willing to pay for a policy? Do some research about the state of our healthcare system and the costs of physicians, specialists, and hospital stays before pointing fingers and just assuming that all of these ex-players were earning Peyton Manning type paychecks and could afford to cover the health expenses for a small nation.

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