SBD/September 25, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Goodell Reiterates That Concussion Settlement Was Not An Admission Of Guilt

Goodell believes the NFL has done what is right for players all along
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league's recent settlement with retired players over head trauma was "good for our players," but stressed it was not an admission of guilt. Fox' John Lynch said to Goodell, "Whenever there's a settlement, the cynic would say it's associated with some form of guilt." Goodell replied, "It’s exactly the opposite. I think very strongly there is no presumption of guilt. There's no assurance that if this had been litigated that there would have been any kind of award in any way. So again, rather than spending all the money and the time and the emotional strain of litigating these issues, we said, 'Let's do what's right for our players.'" Goodell said players because of the settlement are now "able to get help, if they need it, and all ... retired players will have the opportunity to have a baseline test." Lynch noted there have been "some detractors amongst the former players" in the concussion lawsuit who claim with the settlement, the NFL "doesn't have to give information that they might have had" about the cause-and-effect of playing football and head injuries. Goodell: "There's no guarantee that there's any information here that would be inconsistent with what we've claimed all along, and we believe that we've done what's right for our players all along. As the medical community has advanced, we have shared that and so we have not misled our players." Lynch asked if the $765M is enough to take care of all the former players, and Goodell said the amount is a "lot of money to anybody, it's a tremendous amount of money." Goodell: "For us, we're continuing our work. We're investing millions in research, well beyond the settlement" ("Fox Sports 1 On 1," FS1, 9/24).

PRYOR SYMPTOMS: FOXSPORTS.com's Mike Garafalo reports the NFLPA is looking into why Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor "wasn't examined for a concussion immediately after getting hit hard" by Broncos LB Wesley Woodyard Monday night. Raiders coach Dennis Allen indicated that he talked to Pryor after the play and he "showed no signs of a concussion." But Garafalo notes Pryor during a replay delay following the play "was pacing around the field, away from the rest of his offensive teammates." Team trainers and doctors "didn't come out to examine Pryor" (FOXSPORTS.com, 9/25).
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