The family of the late Junior Seau is suing the NFL, filing a wrongful death suit against the league.
The lawsuit alledges the NFL concealed the risks of repeated head trauma. The accumulated hits to Seau's head over his 20-year career caused CTE in his brain which may have caused him to shoot himself.
The family made a statement to the AP:
While Junior always expected to have aches and pains from his playing days, none of us ever fathomed that he would suffer a debilitating brain disease that would cause him to leave us too soon.
The family is also suing Riddell, a helmet manufacturer, for negligence in design, testing and marketing.
The suit could have major ramifications to the NFL as well as youth football. The January edition of Rolling Stone magazine features an article describing the impacts of football to the brain, and details the story of Eric Pelly, an 18-year old who died as a result of two concussions. The more stories like these that come out combined with successful lawsuits will make parents wary of letting their kids play and drive the cost of insuring the game -- at all levels -- through the roof.
That's not the goal of Seau's family, though. They're out to raise awareness and make the game safer.
“We know this lawsuit will not bring back Junior. But it will send a message that the NFL needs to care for its former players, acknowledge its decades of deception on the issue of head injuries and player safety, and make the game safer for future generations.”
They're absolutely correct. If the NFL doesn't correct the mistakes of the past, it may not have a future.