In an attempt to protect the players, the NFL formed the Head, Neck and Spine Committee in 2010. It replaced the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee, formed in 1994, which today's lawsuit alleges generated false findings rather than actually studying the issue of concussions.
Commissioner Roger Goodell also instated new rules in 2010 to protect players from direct hits to the head. Stiffer penalties and suspensions have been handed out to players who break the rules.
"Will our love of football really last," columnist Brennan said, "or will we be so horrified by the turn of events that we might find the nation gravitating away from the NFL?"
Mary Ann Easterling said she wanted the families of football players to be more informed and the league take a bigger role in helping athletes.
"What I want to see is that the information would be out there, more widely disseminated so families won't be in the dark about the symptoms they're seeing," she said. "I'd also like to see the NFL take care of the players that do have symptoms or could possibly have symptoms."