Tony Dorsett: NFL Concussion Settlement ‘Not Enough’

Tony Dorsett, the Former Dallas Cowboys superstar, is not totally on board with the NFL concussion settlement.

As we previously reported, more than 4,500 former NFL players yesterday settled a $765 million lawsuit with the league. The money will be used to fund medical exams, pay out concussion-related compensation, and provide funds for new medical research. As part of the settlement, which still requires approval by a federal judge, the league did not admit any liability for football-related injuries.

Dorsett, 59, expressed his feelings about the NFL concussion settlement to the Dallas Morning News:

“I’m just like, ‘Man, it (the settlement) is not enough. I just feel that, because of the quality of life that I’m starting to miss, they owe me more. Meaning the game owes me more for putting me in the condition I’m in. I’ve got medical bills to pay, and they’re going to get worse as time passes on.’

Added the star running back: “But you know, some people are probably happy with this. It’s good to see people come to some consensus, but it’s not the end for people like myself. If I get some money out of this, $100,000 or $200,000, what is that going to do for my medical bills? What is that going to do for my quality of life?”

Although more details will be forthcoming, apparently the settlement also contains a provision for health insurance coverage for the retired players although there will be some caps on benefit awards.

Tony Dorsett, an All-American from the University of Pittsburgh who won the 1976 Heisman Trophy, was drafted by the Cowboys in the first round (second overall pick) of the 1977 NFL Draft. He was a member of Cowboys for 11 years after which he played one year for the Denver Broncos. He earned NFL Rookie of the Year honors in 1977 and was a member of the Cowboys’ Super Bowl winning team in 1978. Among many honors, Dorsett was inducted to both the College and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Commenting on the NFL concussion settlement, legal expert Lester Munson told ESPN that “In any settlement of any civil case, neither side is supposed to be totally happy. Each side must give something it did not want to give. In this case, the players must accept less than they wanted, and the owners must pay more than they wanted. They’re supposed to be equally unhappy with the final settlement. With a total payment for all claims from all retired players of $765 million, however, the owners are going to be happier than the players.”

[photo credit: Jeff Kern via photopin cc]