While this settlement did not accomplished all the goals of the lawsuit, the door had been opened for change and improvement now the elephant in the room has been acknowledged.
In a nut shell…
From the NYTimes…
And here are the settlement papers:
Here are comments from attorney Derek Howard, lead attorney, from Big Win for American Soccer: Youth Concussions Settlement Makes US World Leader Posted Monday, November 9, 2015 at 9:00 pm ET/6:00 pm PT:
Co-Lead Counsel Derek Howard, representing the plaintiffs, said, “This is a big win for American soccer.” Howard, an attorney who has coached youth soccer in the San Francisco Bay area for three decades, said, “Teamwork gets results. By working together, the plaintiffs and US Soccer US will allow our country to lead the world in preventing concussions in soccer and educating coaches and parents.”
Here are quotes from two of the plaintiffs, two of five the women who made up the #TheFIFA5:
Plaintiff Rachel Mehr said, “I am happy to see that US Soccer is taking steps to protect the players and making the game safer than it was when I played.” The case is Mehr et al v. FIFA et al (14-cv-03879 PJH). It was filed August 27, 2014 in U.S.D.C. Northern District of California.
Plaintiff Kira Aka Seidel said, “In my eyes, ensuring the protection of developing minds is of the utmost importance. While there is always more that can be done to keep our youth safe, I am confident that this agreement will help reduce the risk of concussion on the soccer field and provide the necessary tools to properly address a situation in which a head injury occurs.”
From Chris Nowinski, Concussion Legacy Foundation Founding Executive Director formerly known as SLI:
“These guidelines are a major victory for the Safer Soccer campaign and a fantastic first step in making the world’s most popular sport safer to play for children,” said Chris Nowinski. “Together the supporters of the Safer Soccer campaign showed there is widespread support for the elimination of headers for children, and U.S. Soccer heard our message.”
From Dr. Bob Cantu, Concussion Legacy Foundation Founding Medical Director:
“We’re thrilled that progress is being made, but there is more we can do,” said Dr. Robert Cantu. “Research has shown that delaying the introduction of headers to age 14 would prevent over 35,000 concussions in middle school players per year. These new rules still leave many of those middle schoolers at risk, so we will continue to campaign to raise the age further.”
For more background on the lawsuit please read my blog posts.
- Chapter 1 of the #TheFIFA5 Soccer Lawsuit
- Chapter 2 of #TheFIFA5 “We Don’t Own Soccer Fields” = US Soccer’s Latest Excuse
Congratulation to so many people who worked for this change.