Bears legend Gale Sayers sued the NFL on Friday, claiming the league negligently handled his repeated head injuries during his seven-year career.
Sayers, a Hall of Fame running back who played with the Bears from 1965 to 1971, said in the lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago that he suffered headaches and short-term memory loss after retirement.
Sayers says he sometimes was sent back into games after suffering concussions and that the NFL overall didn’t do enough to protect him from the “devastating concussive head traumas,” according to the lawsuit.
Last month, the NFL reached a $765 million settlement with more than 4,500 former players who had filed suit against the league, accusing it of hiding the dangers of brain injury while profiting from the game’s violence. The NFL admitted no wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement that does not include current players.
In addition to negligence, Sayers’ lawsuit claims fraudulent misrepresentation by the NFL, saying that the NFL didn’t do enough to warn Sayers that playing through concussions could cause permanent brain damage.
The lawsuit names several football players who were, after their deaths, determined to have had a progressively degenerative disease specific to people who suffer repetitive head trauma. It also includes excerpts from articles and books that document the impact the cognitive deficiencies from head traumas have on former football players’ lives.
The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of damages.