SBD/June 4, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Marino Withdraws From Suit, Says He Is Not Suffering From Post-Concussion Syndrome

Marino did not realize he would be listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the NFL
Pro Football HOFer Dan Marino yesterday afternoon confirmed that he would "withdraw the lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania" against the NFL, a "twin to the massive concussion litigation waiting for settlement confirmation in the same court," according to Peter King of THE MMQB. Marino in a statement said, "Within the last year I authorized a claim to be filed on my behalf just in case I needed future medical coverage to protect me and my family in the event I later suffered from the effects of head trauma. In so doing I did not realize I would be automatically listed as a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the NFL. I have made the decision it is not necessary for me to be part of any claims or this lawsuit and therefore I am withdrawing as a plaintiff effective immediately." King wrote the suit was "curious in the first place," because Marino would "automatically be eligible for benefits when or if Judge Anita Brody institutes the settlement that the NFL and attorneys for the aggrieved 4,000 players or player estates agreed to last September." A source said that Marino is "adamant that he is not suffering from any memory loss or post-concussion syndrome related to head trauma" from his career (MMQB.SI.com, 6/3). In Miami, Armando Salguero in a front-page piece writes this twist comes "amid a backlash on social media and elsewhere that questioned Marino’s motives and timing for filing the suit." The idea that Marino would "initially be part of this suit also raised questions about his potential for joining the Dolphins in some future front-office capacity." However, a Dolphins source said that "no such obstacle existed as a result of the suit" (MIAMI HERALD, 6/4).

STAYING IN GOOD GRACES: ESPN.com's James Walker wrote Marino suing the NFL and "simultaneously attempting to become an NFL employee wasn't a wise move." Perhaps the "biggest takeaway" is the Dolphins and Marino might be "close to an agreement to work together." Walker: "At least on Marino's end, it appears he didn't want to jeopardize the potential opportunity with this lawsuit" (ESPN.com, 6/3). CBS Sports Network’s Doug Gottlieb: “The idea of suing a past and future employer for hundreds of millions of dollars is usually not the way to get your next job” ("Lead Off," CBS Sports Network, 6/3). FoxSports.com’s Reid Forgrave said there are two possibilities regarding Marino's withdrawal: He "accidentally filed a lawsuit, or in the span of when his name went in that lawsuit and today, someone got to him" from either the NFL or the Dolphins. Forgrave: "This does feel like, ‘Hey Dan, you better not do anything here’” ("Rome," CBS Sports Network, 6/3).

TOO MUCH ATTENTION PUT HIS WAY? The N.Y. Daily News' Frank Isola noted the reason Marino's name was so big was because "everyone was saying it's putting a kind of a face to the lawsuit." Isola: "It's a quarterback league, and you're talking about an iconic name. That's probably the reason why Dan Marino pulled out. He probably didn't feel comfortable being the face of this lawsuit." The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan said, "It is clear that a name like that does bring more cache to the whole thing." He added, "The interesting thing was that his name, while on it, did in fact bring attention" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 6/3). Sports talk radio host Dan Patrick: “I don’t think he realized what he was getting into, because all of a sudden, he is Joan of Arc. Then he said, ‘No, no I’m not involved in this.’ He didn’t have to put his name in there to be a part of this lawsuit." Former NFLer Clinton Portis: “I don’t think he knew of the exposure that would come from joining this lawsuit and I’m sure he didn’t want all the attention that came with it, so I can understand" (“The Dan Patrick Show,” 6/4). ESPN’s Mike Golic: "The heat got turned up really, really high on him, and I think he did what a lot of people think should have been done -- not be involved in this” (“Mike & Mike,” ESPN Radio, 6/4).

BETTER CALL SOL: PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio wrote attorney Sol Weiss, who filed the lawsuit, will "now face questions about how Marino’s name landed on a lawsuit if that wasn’t his wish." It is "possible Marino signed something that he didn’t realize would result in a suit being filed." It also is possible that Weiss "hoped to get as many names as possible under his umbrella, so that he’ll get more of the nine-figure award of attorneys’ fees" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 6/3). Former NFLer Boomer Esiason said that there is "'a new cottage industry' consisting of lawyers trying to coax former players into suing the NFL." Esiason during WFAN-AM's "Boomer & Carton" show yesterday said, "There is a very large incentive for lawyers to try to get guys like Dan or myself to get involved, to try to use our name" (PALM BEACH POST, 6/4).

AIKMAN EXPLAINS WHY HE'S STAYING AWAY: Pro Football HOFer Troy Aikman said the players who are part of the concussion lawsuit "actually have a pretty good position." Aikman: "I didn't get involved in that because I just felt the lawsuit essentially implies that the doctors knew something and they didn't tell you. I never felt, at any time, while I was playing for the Cowboys that the doctors didn't have my best interests in mind. I didn't feel that I went out on the field before I should have. I thought they were very careful with me and cautious. I never felt I was being exposed to any long-term injury because of negligence on the doctor's and the training staff's part. For that reason, and that reason alone, is why I haven't joined that lawsuit" ("The Afternoon Show," ESPN Radio 103.3 Dallas, 6/3).
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