HOFER Jerome Bettis: NFL’S been cagey on concussions
Hall of fame running back Jerome Bettis says the NFL has taken advantage of its players by not sharing with them all the information it had about the risk of concussions.
After viewing an innovation expo in Jerusalem that included a presentation from Elminda, an Israeli neuro-technology company that can help the NFL diagnose concussions, Bettis said Monday that he was encouraged by the progress but still perplexed about the league’s transparency over the years.
“The problem is we don’t know all the things the league is doing. For instance, working with this company here, you don’t know if they are working with them closely to try to help solve the problem,” Bettis said.
“You definitely feel as though you were taken advantage of in a way that you weren’t given that information, and you always want to have the choice of knowing, and when that is taken away from you, you feel you were taken advantage of.’’
Bettis, the NFL’S sixth all-time leading rusher, said he suffered concussions during his 13-year career, adding, “I don’t think you’ll find many guys that had a long career, played 10-plus years, that didn’t have a concussion.”
After years of denials, the NFL eventually acknowledged the link between repeated blows to the head during football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE. The issue also garnered wide attention following the 2015 Will Smith film Concussion.
Just last week, the first two claims in the NFL’S billion-dollar concussion settlement were announced, with a total of $9 million in benefits. In the lawsuit the league was accused of hiding what it knew about the link between concussions and CTE, the degenerative brain disease that has been found in dozens of former players after their deaths.
You de initely feel as though you were taken advantage of in a way that you weren’t given that information.