DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Former Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Rayfield Wright calls it a start.
The 13-year veteran and six-time Pro Bowler joined KRLD on Thursday to react to news that the NFL and a group of former players are close to a settlement to resolve concussion-related lawsuits.
“I’m happy that a beginning of this process has started — not to say that it’s going to be the end,” said Wright on KRLD. “But it is the beginning of something that is very, very critical in playing this game.”
As part of the $765 million agreement, the NFL is not admitting to any wrongdoings — though players believe the league concealed studies linking concussions to neurological problems for decades.
While Wright wouldn’t put a number on how many concussions he suffered in his career, he is fully aware of the toll the game has taken on a number of players. Unfortunately, players weren’t aware of the potential consequences during their playing days.
“In the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, players didn’t have any knowledge of the after effects of contact and how that contact was made in the NFL,” said Wright.
The NFL has taken strides to improve player safety in recent years by redefining what constitutes an illegal hit and levying larger fines for infractions. The league also requires stricter concussion testing on the sidelines.
But in Wright’s eyes, there’s really nothing that can make the game safe enough — and very few are aware.
“Even with the new technology that they have as far as equipment as so forth, it’s still a dangerous game. For young players not to know how dangerous this game can be, it’s going to be a catastrophe to these players when they get up in life.”
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