NFL settles with concussion damaged players for $765 Million dollars!

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Dave Duerson and Junior Seau are the two most high profile names associated the suicide epidemic among former NFL stars found to be suffering from CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy. But counting living players and their families involved in a class action lawsuit against the NFL, the plaintiffs number over 4,000. The increased media profile of players with brain damage, alive or dead, and their families, must have alerted the NFL to an impending PR disaster if they forced the suit to go to trial.

Instead, a judge referred both sides to mediation and yesterday they agreed to a $765 million settlement deal (pending approval by the judge and by the retired players). To mix metaphors, the deal is a slam dunk for the NFL, which has an estimated $10 billion in annual revenue. If the players and their families had not settled, but instead pressed their case and won, some pundits were predicting a wave of lawsuits akin to those faced by Big Tobacco.

That eventuality seems to have been averted. Instead, to show that the NFL is sincere about preventing brain damage, and perhaps to distract from what a small slice of the settlement some plaintiffs will be getting, they have issued new rules of play meant to reduce head injuries.

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