LOS ANGELES, August 29, 2013 - The National Football League reached a settlement with dozens of former players with regards to concussion-related lawsuits. The league will pay the players $765 million over time. This deal is fair. It is also the smartest business decision the league, which gets virtually everything right, has made.
One day, this settlement agreement will be the money that saved the game of football. With the settlement behind them, the league can now begin the 2013 regular season focused only on the game that so many Americans live and die for on Sundays.
The league did not want a class action lawsuit. As a private business, the owners are allowed to keep their books private. The last thing owners wanted was to be brought before congressional committees to be abused like tobacco executives. Now, the league’s business will remain private, and talk of banning football can be ridiculed as the blustering nonsense it always was.
The players had to take a settlement. Bringing lawsuits would have bankrupted many of them. It would have been mutually assured destruction, tearing apart the league that pays current players in the hopes of a big payday that may have never come. The players would have had to prove that football caused their head injuries.
While many people would say that it obviously did, anything can happen in a courtroom when ordinary jurors reach decisions. A trial is a roll of the dice, and the NFL would have spent precious time and resources pointing out that the players voluntarily chose to subject themselves to risk for a shot at money, fame and glory.
For the fans, this deal is phenomenal. Football has had a pall cast over it, and now there is only the pageantry of the game. The first Thursday in September is a seven hour block party in what will be another five month quest to hoist the Lombardi Trophy and celebrate immortality.
The NFL will make sure that this black cloud never returns. The Heads Up program will instruct coaches how to properly teach football. Pee Wee players will learn to block and tackle with their shoulders and chests, not their heads. Collisions and violence will always be part of football, but proper training can drastically reduce the debilitating effects of the game.
Everybody wins in this deal, which could not have been reached a moment too soon. Now, it is time for the NFL to do what it does best, produce football games. It is time for fans and players alike to get ready for some hard, clean football.
Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities.
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