(PHILADELPHIA) — A landmark class action lawsuit is being filed Thursday morning in Philadelphia against the National Football League by former players who allege the NFL has misled them for decades about the risks of brain injury.
In the lawsuit, the athletes charge “the NFL exacerbated the health risk by promoting the game’s violence,” and “deliberately and fraudulently” concealed the link between concussions and long term brain damage.
The NFL vehemently denies those claims, saying, “Any allegation that the NFL intentionally sought to mislead players has no merit.”
One of those players is Kevin Turner, who played fullback for the Philadelphia Eagles. He can remember two documented concussions and believes he suffered long-term brain damage from his years plunging into the line.
“There was just no focus on the most important part of your body, which is your brain,” Turner said.
On Thursday morning he is joining more than 2,000 other former NFL players who are suing the league in the biggest sports lawsuit ever filed.
Concussions have become football’s number one issue, with some of the sport’s biggest stars suspected of killing themselves because of the damage done.
Last month, Junior Seau, a linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, was found dead in his home after taking his own life. Dave Duerson of the Chicago Bears and Ray Easterling of the Eagles are also among the suicides that have raised questions about football’s unbridled violence.
With some of the sport’s household names now revealing the human price paid for all those on-field hits, this massive lawsuit could change the game forever.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Steve Almasy, Ray Sanchez and Darran Simon, CNN
Larry Register, CNN
Sonya Hamasaki, CNN
Heather Kelly, CNN