The Chiefs’ appeal of anti-tampering violations was denied by commissioner Roger Goodell, meaning Kansas City will forfeit its third-round draft pick this year and sixth-round pick next year.
Attorney Steven Molo, who represented some players opposing the deal, said of Monday’s ruling: “We are disappointed in the court’s decision“.
A league official speaking to Congress recently acknowledged for the first time a definite link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease found in dozens of former players after their deaths. “League of Denial” and “Concussion“, as well as the recent exposé in The New York Times that prompted threats of a litigation by the NFL documented a time during which there certainly appeared to be obstacles in seeking the truth on this important topic. “The sheer number of deceased players with a post-mortem diagnosis of CTE supports the unavoidable conclusion that there is a relationship, if not a casual connection, between a life in football and CTE”. The spectacle of thousands of former players suing the league for lying to them, and the prospect that some players might testify in court about the harm they suffered, led the league to promise to pay potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to former players in dire straits. The league’s lawyers will receive nice bonuses for this work, and the plaintiff’s lawyers will make-as per the settlement-more than $100 million without activating one deposition or paying one expert witnesses. They also argued the deal unfairly favoured now injured retirees and left thousands of former players who have not yet been diagnosed with neurological diseases without a remedy. Turner, who died on March 24, has been replaced in the settlement agreement by his father, Paul Raymond Turner.
“This extraordinary settlement’s implementation has been delayed enough by this small group of objectors, whose arguments have been exhaustively examined and overruled by both the District Court and Third Circuit”, he said in a statement. They aim to ensure that the claims of retired players are not given up in exchange for anything less than a generous settlement agreement negotiated by very able representatives.
Although more than 98 percent of former players approved the settlement, a handful of players appealed the Final Order to the Third Circuit.
The options could include appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court or asking a panel of all the circuit judges to reconsider the ruling of the three-judge panel. They also challenged the idea that the former players’ cases could be joined together in a class-action suit.
I am proud of the 4,566 former players that began this journey by filing suit against the NFL.