The National Football League has to give former players a whole lot of money.
A federal judge gave final approval on Wednesday to a settlement in a lawsuit brought by about 5,000 former National Football League players who accused the league of covering up the dangers of concussions.
The settlement, approved by Judge Anita Brody, includes allowing for monetary awards of up to $5 million per retired player for serious medical conditions associated with repeated head trauma and could cost the league $1 billion over 65 years.
Which they can well afford, considering how profitable the whole racket is.
The NFL is accused of covering up the dangers of concussions to keep players on the field. The league and the players union estimate that 30 percent of former players will develop brain conditions like Alzheimer’s or a less debilitating form of dementia.
Concussions have become a major issue for America’s most popular sports league, causing some players to cut short their careers, including Chris Borland, a 24-year-old linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers, who recently retired over concerns about long-term head injuries.
The game is violent not incidentally but intentionally. The violence is an important part of the game. Fans like it. Advertisers play it up.