Former Eagles Player Says NFL Hid Dangers of Concussions

Former NFL players are suing the league, saying the organization hid information about the lasting damage done by concussions. Former player Michael Haddix, who played for the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers, told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that he suffered at least 10 concussions during his professional football career. He wants the NFL to acknowledge the issue and provide help to former players who are suffering the effects of head trauma.

Haddix said he suffered a concussion during his first game as a pro in San Francisco. He said he went back into the game “after a few finger counts and some smelling salts.” He said he felt the pressure to get back into the game by coaches and trainers.

If he had more information about concussions, Haddix isn’t sure if he would have insisted on leaving the game. “I was under the advice of my trainers and the people who were in charge,” he said. “Me coming off the field, suffering a concussion, I had to listen to those guys and kind of follow what they advised me to do.”

Haddix said he has symptoms that he attributes to his head trauma, including constant headaches and forgetfulness. “You can attribute it to old age or just you forgot, but when it’s pretty consistent, then you start to worry about it,” he said.

Haddix said the NFL hasn’t taken necessary steps for its players. “I think for a long period of time the NFL has not taken the responsibility to do anything about it. I think that it’s been hidden,” he said. “They’ve never admitted to the fact that consistent head trauma would have a long-term effect. I think that has been proven several times and to this day I feel that they are denying it.”

Haddix and the other former players involved in the legal action hope the lawsuit will promote change with the NFL. “What we’re really seeking is monitoring the guys that are having some problems and providing them with some kind of medical help if the problem persists or gets worse,” he said.