Before NFL protests, the biggest issue the NFL has had to deal with involved concussions. On January 7, 2017, the NFL agreed to a settlement with retired athletes who experienced dementia, CTE, or other brain-related long-term injuries as a result of playing in the NFL.

As of Monday, the NFL has paid more than $500 million in settlements to former NFL athletes according to a report by the NFL Concussion Settlement website. More than 1,900 settlements have been received by players with some payouts worth as much as $5 million and there are currently 20,504 former players registered to receive their settlement.

According to a CBS News report, that number is expected to grow to more than $1.4 billion, almost a half billion more than the NFL estimated in its early assessment.

The NFL was forced into this settlement agreement after allegedly hiding information about the way that playing football relates to concussions and permanent brain damage. Former star players like Junior Seau, Ken Stabler, and Frank Gifford are some who have lived with the “Alzheimer’s-like” disorder that can cause depression and dementia.

Also as a result of the investigation into brain injuries caused by football, the NFL improved the “concussion protocol” which now has independent doctors instead of team doctors check players for potential concussions at all NFL games.

On Monday, a 24-year-old former Ohio State Buckeye announced his retirement from the NFL after suffering his sixth documented concussion. Seattle Seahawks linebacker Joshua Perry announced his retirement from the NFL on Twitter detailing how he sustained his latest injury and his plans moving forward.

“It wasn’t from a high velocity, big contact play. It was a very pedestrian thing, and that was a huge concern to me,” Perry wrote on Twitter about his latest injury. “As for what’s next- I am happy for the opportunity to spend more time in Central Ohio. I plan on getting my real estate license in the near future and I’m going to chase my aspirations in that arena.”

 

Perry was drafted by the San Diego Chargers (now Los Angeles Chargers) in 2016 playing all but one game in his rookie season. In his short-lived NFL run, Perry bounced around from the Indianapolis Colts to finally the Seattle Seahawks.