Tony Dorsett questions whether NFL settlement will be enough

Tony Dorsett, in a photo from a video interview, discusses the NFL settlement of concussion-related lawsuits.
(Martha Irvine / Associated Press)

A day after the NFL and 4,500 former players agreed to a tentative settlement over concussion legislation, Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett is having second thoughts.

“Ask the owners if when the money is divided between the players, will it cover our medical bills for the rest of our lives?” he wrote Friday in a text to the Dallas Morning News. “NO, it won’t.”


Dorsett, 59, among the lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit, later elaborated to

“I was just sitting here thinking about this this morning. And thinking about the quality of my life, things that are changing with me personally. ... My memory,” he said.

On Thursday, shortly after the settlement was announced, former NFL linebacker Gary Plummer told The Times that he’s hoping the money, which will be distributed over 20 years, will have a positive effect on generations of football players to come.

“My only concern from the very start was they just needed to make the game safer,” Plummer said. “We have generations of kids to come who are going to be playing football. I’ve suffered the effects of concussions dramatically in the last few years and it’s only gotten worse.”

Plummer, who estimates he had multiple low-grade concussions virtually every game of his career, suffers from near-constant headaches, short-term memory loss, insomnia and quickness to anger.

“Once I found out [about the effect of concussions], which wasn’t until the very end of my career -- and I laughed about it because you’re invincible, and you just kind of scoff at any of them,” said Plummer, 53, who played for the Chargers and 49ers from 1986-97. “Even at that time, I was having headaches for hours after a game and not being able to sleep. You kind of just chalk that up to what everyone else did, ‘Aw, you got your bell rung.’”


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