SBD/Closing Bell

NFL Denies It Purposely Misled Players About Dangers Of Football

The NFL today adamantly denied it had purposely misled retirees about the risks of playing football, a main claim in a lawsuit filed against the league by more than 4,000 retirees. The league has so far legally focused on arguing that past CBAs immunized the league against claims it had misled players, instead of answering allegations directly. But speaking after today’s oral arguments in the head trauma case, NFL outside counsel Beth Wilkinson said, “We strongly deny those allegations.” She spoke directly after NFL outside counsel Paul Clement had answered a question about the league misleading players. Clement had said that at the moment, the league was focused on the legal question of whether the claim could even be brought and it was not necessary to answer the question factually.

About an hour later, NFL retirees counsel David Frederick said the NFL was looking for immunity from all claims and the courts would reject it. The retirees hosted reporters at a hotel a few blocks from the Philadelphia court house, where retirees and widows, often through tears, told their stories. Frederick said that even if the NFL did not purposefully mislead, it was willfully ignorant about the risks of playing football. He expressed optimism about how the day had proceeded. Similarly, speaking shortly after Wilkinson and Clement, NFL in-house counsel Anastasia Danias said the league was very pleased with how the day went.
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