A joint investigation conducted by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” and PBS’ “Frontline” show could shed new light onto the issues surrounding the long-term effects of concussions players suffer while playing in the NFL. Despite the fact that the NFL has consistently denied any link between playing in the NFL and long-term brain damage, unpublished documents and medical records revealed that the league paid at least $2 million in disability benefits to players in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
According to the investigation, the disability board determined in 1999 that Hall of Fame center Mike Webster and other players suffered brain damage while playing. Awarding players compensation for head injuries completely contradicts the public stance the NFL has taken regarding concussions.
Bob Fitzsimmons, a lawyer who represented Webster in 1999 and co-director of the Brain Injury Research center, said the settlements could create major issues for the NFL.
“It’s pretty devastating evidence,” ...