Excerpt: "Akbar Gbajabiamila, an analyst on "NFL Fantasy Live," played defensive end for three NFL teams from 2003 to 2007. In his weekly "Inside Out" column, he offers a player's perspective on topical events around the league.
Recent controversial comments by Deion Sanders, my NFL Network colleague, have many former NFL players in a rage. Some, like wide receiver Joe Horn, have spoken publicly. Many others are speaking privately among themselves.As a reminder, here is what Deion said Super Bowl Sunday on NFL GameDay Morning:"The game is a safe game; the equipment is better; I don't buy all these guys coming back with these concussions. I'm not buying all of that. Half these guys are trying to make money off the deal. That's real talk. That's really how it is. I wish they'd be honest and tell the truth, because it's keeping kids away from our game."
There are roughly 12,000 living former NFL players. About 4,000 of them are currently suing the league over head injuries, according to a Washington Times database. In other words, one out of every three former players is actively seeking a piece of the NFL's yearly $9.5 billion pie they helped create.
The men who represented and helped build the iconic NFL shield feel Sanders' statement undermined their current and eroding health condition. I've spoken and communicated with dozens of them; for an iconic figure to verbalize discontent against the lawsuits made these men feel as if they'd been betrayed by a member of their own fraternity. Deion isn't the first player to take this position, but he is the most recognizable one, and he has a large audience.Why have so many players joined lawsuits against the NFL?" Read more...