The seven ex-NFL players who are disputing the league's proposed $765 million concussion lawsuit settlement launched a website Wednesday titled "NFL Concussion Settlement Facts," which aims to help NFL players decide whether to opt-in or opt-out of the settlement.
The website was recently commissioned by Roderick "Rock" Cartwright, Sean Considine, Alan Faneca, Ben Hamilton, Sean Morey, Jeff Rohrer and Robert Royal. The group has also received input from players tied to Team Gleason, other league veterans, and several wives and widows of former NFL players.
Don Comrie, who has worked with Morey on player medical issues for the past five years, said in an email that the website was created because "too many players seemed to be completely uninformed or misinformed about the settlement even those with lawyers."
The settlement includes anyone who retired before July 7, 2014 and played in the NFL, American Football League, World League of American Football, NFL Europe League or NFL Europa League. Active NFL players are not part of the settlement.
Both Cartwright and Faneca have promoted the website on Twitter.
A letter on the website is addressed to "NFL and NFL Europe veterans and their families, loved ones, and caretakers." The website extensively details the lawsuit and the dispute, including sections explaining "what is wrong with the settlement," "who is part of the settlement," and important dates and deadlines.
The website urges active NFL players to speak up because "once this agreement is signed, you will be SOL" because "it will be very difficult to bring a claim resulting from brain injury as most courts and juries will believe you assumed the risk."
In the letter to players, the former players share why they are "standing up for a more fair, reasonable, and adequate settlement."
We strongly believe that widows, families of deceased players, and terminally ill players should be paid TODAY. Immediately. Those players and their families should NOT be used as emotional bargaining chips to encourage the acceptance of a defective settlement. As Commissioner Goodell has said repeatedly, the NFL holds itself to the highest moral standards. Taking hostages is repellant. Despite our many differences, everyone actively involved in the settlement - and within the larger football community -- agrees that brain damaged and brain diseased players and families with the most immediate need should be compensated without additional delay.
The deadline for exclusion in the settlement is Oct. 14, 2014.
- Sarah Barshop