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Former players file concussion lawsuit against NFLPA

Former players file concussion lawsuit against NFLPA Photo: Doug Benc/Getty Images

Two former NFL players, Christian Ballard and Gregory Westbrooks, filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging the NFLPA withheld information about the perils of head injuries.

The suit, which names former union presidents Kevin Mawae, Troy Vincent and Trace Armstrong, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

On Friday, the NFLPA issued a statement on the lawsuit that reads, in part:

(The lawsuit) erroneously alleges that the NFLPA knowingly and fraudulently concealed from players the risks of head injuries players faced by playing in NFL games and practices over the last several decades.This lawsuit has no merit and we will defend our union and our past Presidents.

The NFLPA has made the health and safety of its members a priority and the advancements in professional football on concussion education, prevention and treatment are a result of our efforts."

Ballard, 25, last played with Minnesota as a defensive end in 2012. When he left Vikings training camp last September, Ballard said "I wasn't really having a good time playing football. It wasn't fun for me. It wasn't a blast for me.”

Westbrooks, 61, appeared in 93 games with four teams between 1975-81 at linebacker and on special teams.

A federal judge earlier this month granted preliminary approval to the $765 million settlement over concussions between the NFL and more than 4,500 retired players.

More: Head Trauma in Football: A special report

- Chris Johnson

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