Junior Seau’s suicide in May 2012 was a “direct and proximate result of having suffered multiple past traumatic brain injuries while playing professional football for the NFL from 1990-2009,” says his family’s lawsuit made public Friday for the first time.
Filed in San Diego Superior Court on Wednesday but not “imaged”—or posted online—until Friday morning, the 60-page complaint is a devastating indictment of the National Football League.
It cites in detail the history of brain injuries suffered by players and alleges the NFL failed to act to prevent them.
“Part of the NFL Defendants’ strategy to promote NFL football is to glorify the brutality and ferocity of NFL football, in part by lauding and mythologizing the most brutal and ferocious players and collisions, and simultaneously propagating the fraudulent representation that ‘getting your bell rung,’ ‘being dinged’ and putting big hits on others is a badge of courage which does not seriously threaten one’s health,” says the complaint on begalf of the family of the former Chargers linebacker.
As a result of this strategy, the NFL propagated the “false myth” that collisions of all kinds, including brutal and ferocious collisions—“many of which lead to short-term and long-term neurological damage to players—are an acceptable, desired and natural consequence of the game, and a measure of the courage and heroism of players involved at every level of the game.”
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More details to come. The complaint is attached to this story.