“The only way we can improve the safety of players, restore the confidence of our fans and secure the future of our game is to insist on the same quality of medical care, informed consent and ethical standards that we expect for ourselves and for our family members,” the NFLPA said in a statement.
“This is why the players have asked for things like independent sideline concussion experts, the certification and credentialing of all professional football medical staff and a fairer workers compensation system in professional football,” it said.
Before shooting himself, Duerson, a former Chicago Bears defensive back, left a note asking that his brain be studied for signs of trauma. His family filed a wrongful-death suit against the NFL, claiming the league didn’t do enough to prevent or treat the concussions that severely damaged his brain.
Easterling played safety for the Falcons in the 1970s. After his career, he suffered from dementia, depression and insomnia, according to his wife, Mary Ann. He committed suicide last April.
Mary Ann Easterling is among the plaintiffs who have sued the NFL.
“I was not surprised after learning a little about CTE that he had it,” Tyler said. “He did play so many years at that level. I was more just kind of angry I didn’t do something more and have the awareness to help him more, and now it is too late.”
“Lacrosse is really his sport and what he is passionate about,” she said. “He is a good football player and probably could continue. But especially now watching what his dad went through, he says, `Why would I risk lacrosse for football?’
“I didn’t have to have a discussion with him after we saw what Junior went through.”
Her 12-year-old son Hunter has shown no interest in playing football.
“That’s fine with me,” she said.
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