The information being brought to The Concussion Blog has been astounding, newsworthy, controversial (to some) and welcome. We are not paying anyone for their guest posts, rather providing a platform for the information. The inbox is always open for such things – with me as executive editor. Just because something is posted here does not mean that I or we generally agree or endorse unless otherwise stated. I have reached out to many people on the other side of this current CFL issue to open my pages to them and have yet to get a post from them. Honestly, I don’t know that much about the CFL and its players – Doug Flutie being the only one I remember that well. I truly appreciate the feedback on this continuing saga, but remember this is one journalist, Terry Ott’s, work. It is here because he cannot find anyone to publish his information in Canada. I feel this information is important to share. What follows is Terry’s most recent filing.
1970s ERA CFL STAR ERIC “The Flea” ALLEN WILL REPORTEDLY SUE CFL FOR ALLEGED MANY HEALTH PROBLEMS AS A RESULT OF PLAY
Former Toronto Argonaut Player Dealing With “Serious” And Debilitating Concussion Related Issues
Hamilton, Ontario — July 30, 2104
Eric “The Flea” Allen starred with the Toronto Argonauts between 1973-1975, and as noted previously here in Sneer and Loafing, is suffering the effects of what is alleged to be serious brain damage caused by multiple concussions while he was playing for the Toronto team, which at the time, was the highest profile and richest franchise in the league.
Allen, 65, is currently being cared for by his elderly mother in the family home in Rock Hill, South Carolina, along with some help from family and home care workers.
In an interview, Allen’s mother Rebecca Young, 84, said that Eric’s condition had declined precipitously in the last 6 weeks to the point that her son “can hardly walk now,” even with the aid of a walker, and spends most of the day in bed suffering from vertigo and has recently developed bouts of incontinence as well as suffering from worsening memory and mood issues.
Mrs. Young said that she had recently been visited by Canadian lawyer Robyn Wishart who Mrs. Young said will be representing Mr. Allen in a legal action against the Canadian Football League, allegedly for concussion injuries Allen says he suffered while playing in the league for the Toronto Argos for the three seasons in question.
“She said she was going to do her best to get (us) some help,” said Mrs.Young, of lawyer Wishart. “I hope it’s soon…I’m so tired,” added Mrs. Young, who as the principal caregiver for her debilitated son has a multiple hour drive to take Mr. Allen for treatment at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Ms. Wishart was traveling and did not return telephone calls for comment about Allen’s condition.
Two weeks ago, Arland Bruce, also represented by attorney Wishart, was the first 21st century former CFL player to file suit against the CFL member teams and others for concussion injury. Mr. Allen now marks the first from another era to follow a similar path although legal sources expect any lawsuit alleging head injury prior to any officially established CFL concussion protocols to be constructed quite differently than the Bruce pleadings, possibly along the lines of the now settled NFLPA 1 billion dollar suit against the NFL.
Furthermore, according to a source speaking on condition of anonymity, there are now at least a total of 7 former CFL players, some who played over 50 years ago, currently, or intending to, bring suit against the league for concussion injury.
The Arland Bruce III lawsuit story was national news in Canada for several days after it first broke on this Blog July 16, albeit with some of the coverage taking on a near inquisition tone regarding Mr. Bruce’s motivations and alleged recent actions.
And unfortunately, your correspondent has been hearing about rumblings/grumblings supposedly originating from within The Great White North sports media community that somehow I have embellished, made up, or even peddled “lies” in my episodic and breaking reporting of the emerging concussion crisis in the CFL during the last 9 months.
In case you still don’t get it boys: this is not about me, but rather the wounded former players and common human decency. The players are making nothing up. Mull that scenario over for a while my suspicious, duplicitous friends.
This latest report on Mr. Allen’s troubles and intentions will hopefully give those uninformed and wrong side of history naysayers some pause before they raise questions about Mr. Allen and his family’s motivations and needs, as well as way, way down the line, mine.