Thursday, December 3, 2020
Home Europe Australian footballer awarded 'landmark' disability payout

Australian footballer awarded ‘landmark’ disability payout


Published

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionShaun Smith, 51, was a high-flying Aussie rules footballer in the 1990s

A former Australian Rules football player has been awarded a A$1.4m (£0.8m; $1m) insurance payout for brain damage suffered from match concussions.

Shaun Smith, who was a prominent player in the 1980s and 1990s, had said he could no longer work and had also developed acute mental health problems.

Advocates have called it a milestone payment in Australian sport.

Insurance firm MLC found the ex-player, 51, had a valid “total and permanent disablement” claim.

“I’m just happy that it’s finally been recognised,” Mr Smith told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Friday.

He also called on the AFL (Australian Football League) to improve its policies for how players are treated after a concussion – saying time off should be mandatory.

Currently, the AFL tests injured players before clearing their return to play. The body is yet to comment on the payout awarded to Mr Smith.

The long-term impact of concussions in contact sports such as rugby and football has drawn more attention in recent years as ex-athletes have begun speaking out.

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionAn AFL player taking a mark during a ball contest

Mr Smith said it had been a “fluke” that he had taken out a disablement claim in his life insurance policy 25 years ago – which would have not been the case with most of his peers.

He said the insurer’s ruling, by its medical panel, proved the long-term damage of repeated game concussions.

“This just proves that concussion is real, that we are not just making this stuff up. I’m only the tip of the iceberg,” he told the Herald Sun newspaper after the ruling.

In 2018, a study assessing 25 retired National Rugby League (NRL) players in Australia found repeated head injuries suffered during their careers had left them with long-term impairments.

And in 2016, the US National Football League (NFL) paid out a $1bn (£700m) settlement to a group of retired players who had suffered brain damage as a result of concussions.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Ryder Cup 2010

McDowell knew the Twenty Ten course like the back of his hand. He’d won the Wales Open on the course that year and during a period when he lived in Cardiff he used the venue as his practice area.As the match descended into the home stretch McDowell sunk a 15-foot birdie to go 2-up on…

GB’s Evans calls opponents ’embarrassing’

Evans was knocked out in the singles in the first round by Kei Nishikori of JapanBritain's Dan Evans said his doubles opponents were "embarrassing" after becoming involved in an on-court row at the French Open.The British singles number one and Polish partner Hubert Hurkacz beat Dutchman Matwe Middelkoop and Brazilian Marcel Demoliner in the first…

US team walks off after ‘homophobic slur’

Collin Martin (pictured playing for former club Minnesota United) came out as gay in 2018Landon Donovan said his San Diego Loyal "would not stand" for bigotry having left the pitch in protest after an alleged homophobic comment was aimed at openly gay midfielder Collin Martin.An opposition player from Phoenix Rising was accused of making the…

As colleges reopened, many more young people got covid-19, CDC reports – msnNOW

Covid-19 cases surged nationally among 18- to 22-year-olds between Aug. 2 and Sept. 5, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which urged young adults as well as colleges and universities to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.Weekly cases among the age group jumped 55…