Though NFL Football is still a brutal sport with great bodily risk for every player, the game is no longer a crash-test exhibition of hit-as-hard-as-you-can mentality. Head injuries and the tragic, long-term health effects on players from your father's NFL, contributed to a $765 million compensation settlement and the changing of several rules to protect the future health of NFL players.
Past is Prologue. The NFL became rich due to the sacrifices and brilliant play of its players, as well as the superb marketing from owners and executives. The game owed a debt to the ones who came before, which is one reason for the settlement. Higher-ups were forced by debilitated ex-players to atone for neglecting their workforce, specifically, for withholding crucial information about the damage and health risks created by the severe head-trauma they were inflicting & experiencing playing the game they love. Which was the opposition's exact case for rebuttal. 'Players knew what they were doing, they signed up for it.'
Fortunately, the Law is balanced and the NFL has very deep pockets, so after years of litigation they finally decided to fork over a few dollars for the guys that made Football America's New Fav Pasttime. 765 million may sound like a lot, but for the more than 4500 players involved in the suit, it only equates to about $170,000 each. And that's without any payment to lawyers so chop that down to about 100k, kindly.
Fact is the NFL corportation got off easy. 765 million is not even 1/10 of the revenue the NFL makes in a single season. So basically for the 20+ years the NFL knowingly withheld the information about Traumatic Head Injuries and the effects their game had on their employees, they were able to pay off 4500 ex-players with roughly the amount of money an average player makes in 1 regular season game.
Yes, NFL Players knew the game was hard on their bodies. Yes, they still made good money playing the game. But the NFL needed and still needs to do better in taking care of their own. The insane profits Owners are making need to be utilized fairly. Players and Ex-players deserve to be cared for, without going broke.