“We knew what was going on with pretty much every other part of the body,” McMahon said on ESPN’s Outside the Lines. “We knew there was going to be a chance for injury. But we didn’t know about the head trauma. And they did, and that’s the whole reason for this lawsuit. . . . They knew about it and they didn’t tell us. That’s like looking in your face and lying to you. Flat-out lying.”
As reported from various sources after his appearance on ESPN’s OTL, this one via ProFootballTalk, Jim McMahon has set the stage for what the law suits against the NFL basically involve. The league denies hiding any information from the players, which to this observer is “technically” correct up until the early 2000’s. However what the didn’t know was available for them to find out, as papers and research articles about compounding head trauma has been available since early in the 1900’s (see dementia pugilistica).
Regardless, I am not here to fight for or against these law suits, the interview with McMahon was very disturbing to hear and see how concussions and head trauma have affected his life. He feels that he is basically staring down the barrel of a troubling and unknown road as his brain deals with his years in the NFL and football in general. It should escape no one that his head trauma began when he began football, it would be interesting to see how many incidents he had prior to his days in the league.
In a very vivid revelation of where we have been and what has been learned about concussions, a story in 1988 appearing in the Chicago newspapers had the head athletic trainer as saying something to the effect of; “he had a concussion, but it cleared by halftime.” You can see this and his interview below or by clicking the ESPN link HERE.