Considine Opposes NFL Settlement

ROCKFORD-The NFL is celebrating it’s annual draft this week, but former NFL player Sean Considine is shining a light on the NFL’s dark side. The way the league is going about dealing with former players who suffer from head trauma.  Considine is one of six former players who filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia this week opposing the NFL’s concussion settlement proposal with the players. 

Eight months ago the NFL agreed to pay out $765 million dollars to former players who suffer from the most severe cases of head trauma.  Considine declined to be a part of that settlement. It’s not the money that he’s concerned about. He’s concerned with former players getting the long-term medical care and help that they’ll need.

"There’s nobody there to take care of these guys. There’s nobody there to direct them toward proper help or proper medication," says Considine. "And this settlement the way it stands right now doesn’t provide any of that."

While $765 million dollars sounds like a lot of money, many people say that won’t go nearly far enough to meet the medical needs of all the players who have retired not to mention current players who will retire in the future.

"I’m not looking for any money. That’s why I wasn’t part of the original settlement," says Considine. "There’s some people that are going to make a lot of money on the settlement. I’m not saying those families don’t deserve some compensation for what they’ve been through."

Considine played football for 22 years in all. It was the eight NFL seasons that took their toll on him. He suffered five concussions.

"I never had any issues with any of this stuff when I played high school and college," says Considine. "It’s when you go to the NFL that pounding year after year in your 30s. These are the guys that are suffering."

Considine knows no amount of money can fix a player who’s suffering from dementia, depression, or any other number of symptoms resulting from brain injuries.  Some symptoms so severe that they’ve led a few former players to commit suicide. Considine says he has some minor issues with his memory. Nothing serious enough now to require medical attention.

"But who’s to say 20 or 30 years down the road I’m not going to be suffering some of the things that some of my friends are, some of the old retired players are suffering today," says Considine. "There’s no way as a responsible father and husband that I want to put that on my family to have to deal with it by themselves, because that’s what ends up happening."

"I love the game of football and I want to protect it. And I think the best way to do it is to provide medical coverage for players. Lets not run and hide and act like this stuff isn’t going on."

The NFL does provide medical insurance for retired players, but only for their first five years out of the league, well before the most severe symptoms of head trauma start showing up

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