The family of Junior Seau has decided to sue the NFL over the former linebackers’ suicide. After an autopsy was performed, it was determined that Seau suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease linked to repeated blows to the head. In the suit, the family is claiming that the NFL knew about the risk to its players, but withheld information. Seau committed suicide last May after a few bizarre incidents. He retired from the NFL after a 19-year career.
What I’m going to write may offend some of you, and I certainly respect your opinions. But to me, this is a sad state of our society. Not that I am not sympathizing with the NFL, but if Seau thought that repeatedly running into an opponent at full speed and tackling with brute force wasn’t a risk, than I do not know what to say. He played the game that he loved for 19 seasons and was one of the game’s most passionate players. But if you believe for a second that he would have gave this up for a risk of brain injury, than you are strongly mistaken. Every guy that straps on a helmet knows the risks involved with this game. And Seau was well-compensated for his work. If Seau does win his suit, I really hope the NFL counter-sues for all of his back pay. I don’t see his family exactly parting with the millions of dollars Seau earned in the NFL.
Ask any former NFL player if they would have not played the sport and to a man, they’ll say it was worth the risk. And while there’s been some tragedies, I’ll argue there’s plenty of guys that are doing quite-well after football. Should Mike Ditka sue the league because he has had several joints replaced in his legs? Do you think he’d give up the Godlike status he’s received as a result of being Ditka?
I feel bad for the Seau family and other players’ families that have had to deal with this terrible situation. But none of these guys were forced to play football. In the case of Seau, he chose to play it for a long time. While I agree there’s a need for improved head-safety, I do not think it’s fair to always blame the richest guy in the room because you can.