TODAY

TODAY   |  August 30, 2013

NFL to pay $765 million to players with head trauma

A judge has accepted the landmark $765 million settlement between the NFL and the thousands of retired players suffering from the effects of long-term head trauma. NBC’s Anne Thompson reports.

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>> become a major concern in professional sports and this morning there's word of a 700 $$765 million settlement to end a lawsuit brought against the national football league by several players but does it go far enough.

>> the hits that make the highlight reel left many retired nfl players reeling. like kevin turner , a running back for 8 seasons now living with als.

>> how many concussions did you suffer?

>> countless. i really don't know.

>> turner and more than 45 former players sued the nfl . to settle the nfl will pay $765 million for medical examines, injury compensation and a researching fund. a lot of money but some critics say small change for a league that took in $9.5 billion last year.

>> this litigation didn't require $9 billion to settle it. it requires a sufficient amount of money to make sure the benefits would be paid to the players when they needed them.

>> on field success was no different. chicago bears super bowl quarterback jim mccann has early stage dimension. junior seau committed suicide. both diagnosed after their death. the nfl says they don't have to open their files on head injury .

>> it is unsettling that you won't know about what they knew and when they knew about it.

>> from here to the high school football field in raleigh, north carolina , concern about concussions is not only in the nfl .

>> i don't want to die of an early age because of concussions.

>> many football fans are saying i'm going to continue to watch football but i'm not going to let my son play football and participation in youth football is down measures over the last few years.

>> kevin turner is thinking of his own kids.

>> my kids can all go to college and they'll be taken care of.

>> for today, ann thompson, nbc new york.

>> i interviewed jim mccann and it was one of the most heartbreaking interviews. it's an amazing guy. would you let your kids play football? that's the next level of this question?

>> i played football growing up. this is the threat to the game, though. if parents decide to send their kids into soccer instead of football it could hurt the nfl long material.

>> no question about it. one of those things you have to wrestle with.

>> it's like boxing. people see how violent it is.

>> i will let my kids play, but they will be