Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 4/21/12

The recent Bountygate scandal in the NFL could hurt the league in more ways than one. Four former players sued the football league on Apr. 16 in an Atlanta court and cited the bounty system used by the New Orleans Saints as evidence and proof that the NFL didn't protect its players properly.

The legal action was initiated by Lomas Brown, who retired in 2002 after 17 years in the league; Myron Guyton, a member of the New England Patriots and New York Giants in the1980s and 90s; Willie Whitehead, a member of the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers between 1995 and 2006 and Jessie Small, a member of three different teams from 1989 to 1993.

Several trial attorneys and legal experts feel this could just be the tip of the iceberg as they expect more lawsuits to be launched in the future. The most recent lawsuit said the bounty system shows that the league relied on violence and its players weren’t properly educated regarding the dangers of concussions.

After holding an investigation, the NFL concluded that Gregg Williams, a former defensive coordinator with the saints, offered his players thousands of dollars for violent hits on opposing players during the last three seasons. The players who filed the suit aren’t claiming to be victims of the bounty scheme, but said this type of behaviour has led to other ex-players and themselves dealing with debilitating conditions.

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