On Thanksgiving, my family usually has a football game on TV. As I walked by the television to put some appetizers on the table, the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans game was on. At that moment, I saw a Lions player intentionally kick the Texan quarterback in the groin.
The Lions player was Ndamukong Suh, whom many call the "dirtiest" player in the league. Suh has a reputation of giving vicious hard hits and has been fined before. During a Thanksgiving game last year against Green Bay, Suh was fined for stomping on a player's shoulder. Just last month, he viciously hit the Bears' quarterback during a game.
Many say that Suh is a vicious player and should not be playing. Others say that Suh is just playing football, where hard hits are just part of the game. Suh has defended his hard hits by saying football is rough and that he cannot stop his momentum.
After seeing footage of Suh viciously hitting other players, I felt sick to my stomach. As a sports accident injury lawyer who helps players and participants that sustain traumatic brain injuries from playing contact sports, I know that violent hits like this can lead to concussions and permanent brain injuries. Further, traumatic brain injuries have significant negative impact on the player and his family's lives.
Shouldn't the NFL step in and take disciplinary action against Suh? Though Suh was fined for previous hard hits throughout his career, he is still playing the game.
What if the next player Suh hits suffers a permanent brain injury? Could the NFL be held accountable for that player's injuries? Possibly. It could be argued that the NFL knew of Suh's history of violent hits and should have banned him from the sport.
The NFL is in the middle of a lawsuit from former football players who sustained traumatic brain injuries while playing football. The players allege that the NFL knew that there were links between football-related head trauma and permanent brain injuries and failed to take appropriate action. In addition, the players accuse the NFL of hiding information linking concussions and head trauma to permanent brain injuries sustained during the game.
If you would like information about traumatic brain injuries from playing contact sports, feel free to contact me.
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