Riddell, the former helmet maker of the NFL, is facing some serious allegations after evidence surfaced that the company and the league knew more about the risks of concussions than they disclosed, according to the New York Post.
“There have been many new documents that have been found” since the players settled with NFL in 2013, the players’ lead lawyer Jason Luckasevic said to The Post‘s Josh Kosman.
The league settled its concussion suit, but Riddell’s is still up in the air and that could have serious implications for the future of the company. How serious, you might ask? “We are going to put an end to that helmet maker,” Luckasevic said.
That seems very possible, too. Riddell is being sued by about 1,000 former players who claim that the company knew the risks of the concussions, but did not inform players of the dangers. According to The Post, the case is expected to continue after the NFL settlement is approved. The NFL and the 20,000 players involved in that suit won $1 billion.
Riddell, founded in 1927, outfitted the NFL with helmets from 1989 up until 2014. In 20o2, the company introduced the Revolution helmet in response to concussion research. The Revolution helmet was perhaps most notably worn by Peyton Manning, until he switched in the 2015 season.
According to The Post, Luckasevic says that Riddell’s claims about the improvement of the Revolution helmets were exaggerated:
Luckasevic said that when Riddell in 2006 claimed its Revolution helmet would reduce concussions by 31 percent compared to traditional helmets, the company’s assertion “was pretty wild” considering it never tested for the kind of rotational hits that cause most concussions.
There will be key helmet manufacturers that come forward and say they went to the NFL and proposed helmets that would be safer for players only to be told they should go show their models to official helmet maker Riddell, Luckasevic alleges.
A study by Virginia Tech led many NFL players to switch to Xenith helmets, which is the only other authorized provider of helmets to teams across the league.
Former New York Giant Leonard Marshall, who has traumatic brain injury, wore Riddell helmets throughout his career and told The Post he would have worn a better helmet had he known of the risks that Riddell was allegedly keeping from players. Marshall says he goes to a hyperbaric chamber every week, sometimes on multiple occassions because, “Parkinsons and long-term dementia scare the s**t out of me,” he said.
How this affects Riddell moving forward will be worth watching, but the future doesn’t look promising for the company.