Hey, it’s not like we didn’t see this coming or anything. Shit, I half expected some awful, collusion-riddled judgement awarding $3 to the players, reminiscent of the old USFL settlement, since money=power and the NFL has more of both than just about any Sports entity on the planet.
Still, nobody should be doing a dance for the Players union, or the thousands of former players who now limp, tremble or took their lives long ago because their union and their sport failed to do enough to take care of them or to protect them from the ravages of brain injuries that have only recently been treated with the fair amount of scrutiny and import.
Sure, 765 million dollars sounds like alot on the surface, but for a league that generates approximately 9 billion dollars in revenue annually, it really is the proverbial drop in the bucket. Picture Roger Goodell going into his wallet, peeling off eight bills and saying “keep the change, kiddo” and you’l have a pretty good idea of what happened here. The particulars of the settlement actually stipulate a cap for how much can be paid out to each former player in relation to the maladies they suffer from. If you are former Running Back Steve Smith, now suffering from ALS so severe that he uses an instrument similar to the speak & spell toy we had as kids and cannot move anything but his eyes. you can be given up to five million dollars, not a penny more. If you are the family of Junior Seau, Dave Duerson or any of the other deceased players who were found to have been suffering from CTE (A degenerative Brain disease) only because they had the wisdom to commit suicide by shooting themselves in the fucking chest so that their brains could be studied post-mortem, you’ll get no more than 4 million dollars. Oh, and if you’re lucky enough to only be suffering from dementia as a result of the repeated concussions you sustained on the football field, you’ll be entitled to a maximum of three million dollars, to be payed out in small installments over the next forty years or so.
If I sound dramatic here, I’m good with that. Long before this concussion lawsuit was ever a thing, I’d grown rather tired of anything NFL related that didn’t involve the actual game on the field, from the level to which they were ignoring the welfare of their former players to the non-stop media fascination with it’s every detail to the uncomfortable social realities of who was playing, and who they were playing for. What can I say, I’d more-or-less had enough. I mean, if you want to get deep enough into the sociological connotations of just about any business endeavor you’re bound to come up with dirt under your fingernails, but the NFL’s evolution into an all encompassing, unstoppable corporate Juggernaut has long since turned me off, especially since I see a direct correlation between it’s rise and America’s undeniable attraction to all things least common denominator.
Well, either that or I just prefer basketball as a game.
All soap boxes put aside, them’s the breaks, baby. When you have a sport that has thrived beyond anyone’s wildest reckonings on the backs of men who are not only expendable but significantly less important than the uniforms they wear, you are allowed to mistreat them and ignore their grievances for as long as you wish and when it’s finally time to atone for your sins, you’ll break off a small piece of your fortune to send them away until the next time, whenever it may be. History, as they say, is always written by the winners.
Score another one for the NFL.