Blazing Saddles actor and former Detroit Lions star Alex Karras has filed a lawsuit against the National Football League (NFL) in which he claims that his increasing dementia was caused because the league failed to protect him from concussions during his playing days.
Aside from his time in the NFL Karras played Mongo in “Blazing Saddles” and starred in “Webster.”
Karras joined hundreds of former NFL stars who have filed a lawsuit against the NFL, claiming that the league needs better medical monitoring, cognitive health benefits and financial compensations for players who have and will suffer brain injuries during and after their careers.
In a statement regarding his health and lawsuit Karras’ wife says:
“Alex suffers from dementia but still enjoys many things, including watching football. But dementia prevents him from doing everyday activities such as driving, cooking, sports fishing, reading books and going to big events or traveling.”
She goes on to add:
“His constant complaint is dizziness — the result of multiple concussions. What Alex wants is for the game of football to be made safer and allow players and their families to enjoy a healthier, happier retirement.”
Head injuries in the NFL are rather common and until recently the National Football League did not employ a doctor to oversee players conditions following concussions, instead relying on team doctors who would sometimes overlook a concussion if it kept a player in the game. Concussion safe helmets and other equipment are available on the open market however the NFL has never required players to wear safety gear which some NFL stars find to be a hinderance to their game.