Former Cleveland Brown football player Jamal Lewis is one of four former NFL players suing the league for brain injuries stemming from their playing days. He alleges he is still battling medical problems from his 10-year career in the NFL.
The four players, Lewis, 32, Dorsey Levens, 41, Fulton Kuykendall, 58, and Ryan Stewart, 38, claim the National Football League does not do enough to protect players from brain injuries. In a lawsuit filed in December 2011 in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, the men allege the NFL has known concussions can cause permanent injuries to players since 1920.
However, the NFL hid that information from players until last year, the lawsuit claims. While other professional sports organizations stopped athletes with concussions from playing for long periods of time, the NFL sent players with concussions back into the game as soon as possible. Sometimes, players with concussions even returned to play later in the same game, the suit alleges.
All four men say they have numerous medical issues that have roots stemming from their football career. They have varying degrees of medical problems including, impairment to memory, headaches and sleeplessness. Both the NFL and NFL Properties LLC are named in the men’s lawsuit.
Their lawsuit is one of several filed in recent months against the NFL. Numerous past players also allege the league could have tried harder to protect them from brain injuries.
The NFL says player safety has always been a priority. In a statement given to the Associated Press, the league says the men’s allegation that the NFL intentionally underplayed the danger of concussions is false. The league continues to shape its policies to protect players, the statement says.
Source: CBS Sports, “Lewis, Levens blame league for brain injuries, latest to file suit,” Dec. 22, 2011.