The AFL Players Association will meet this week with concussion advocate Peter Jess to discuss his proposed $ 2 billion compensation fund to cover footballers suffering from the effects long-term blows to the head

Guardian Australia understands that the meeting, due to take place on Thursday, was organized with the aim of breaking the architecture of the historic workers’ compensation-type trust, in which the AFL would theoretically pay a minimum of $ 25million. dollars per year for the next 80 years

One of the priorities on the agenda will be the prospect of drafting a framework in the next collective agreement as a means of ensuring that players are covered against concussions as a condition of employment Under the CBA current, which is due to expire in 2022, AFL pays $ 250,000 per year for concussion research

It comes amid a report of a new concussion lawsuit claiming that dozens of AFL players with serious illnesses linked to blows to the head have been overlooked to get compensation The case would focus on insurance plans offered from 2009 onwards, making it impossible for players to claim compensation for “serious mental health issues” resulting from injuries caused by concussions

It is separate from the AFL concussion class action lawsuit sued by South Australian lawyer Greg Griffin and involving a large group of players, including former Essendon and Geelong ruckman John Barnes, Brownlow medalist John Platten and recently retired Jack Frost

It also falls the same week that a coroner issued his findings on Danny Frawley’s death, confirming his diagnosis of chronic low-stage traumatic encephalopathy and calling for more research into the lasting effects of headbuttings in sport

As the Guardian revealed last week, the proposed trust, known as the Concussion Resolution Path (CSP), would be available to any past, present and future AFL / AFLW or VFL / VFL player. VFLW It is not clear at this point if this would also cover players participating in lower leagues.

Adopting the fund would mean gamers suffering the long-term adverse effects of clinical and subclinical concussions could access neurological treatment and rehabilitation, income support and assisted living or with assistance without having to take legal action

It would also mean that the AFL avoids the all-mentioned class action lawsuit, although the governing body would have to accept that it is run independently

The proposed model would be funded at the “point of consumption”, which means that a percentage of the income generated from the sale of goods would be allocated to the trust

Jess, a prominent concussion activist leading the class action, is pushing for it to be accepted and signed in time for the start of the AFL 2021 season and the first $ 25 million installment to make this year

The AFL has yet to comment publicly on the CSP’s proposal, but it is believed to be examining its merits.It recently updated its concussion protocols by requiring that concussed players be put on trial. deviation for at least 12 days, an increase from the six days required by last year’s guidelines

AFLPA declined to comment on the meeting, preferring to wait until the end of the meeting to consider a public position, but continue to investigate with the AFL how to better offer support to current and past struggling players as a result of repeated head trauma

The AFLPA did, however, make a statement on the coroner’s report into the death of Frawley, who committed suicide in September 2019, aged 56, acknowledging the recommendation to work with the AFL to actively encourage players to donate their brains to the Australian Sports Brain Bank for CTE research

“We will review the coroner’s findings in detail and seek a priority meeting with the Australian Sports Brain Bank to enable the AFLPA board of directors to properly consider this recommendation,” a spokesperson said.

“Our hearts are always with the Frawley family and those close to Danny, and we salute the courage of those of those who provided personal accounts to the investigation

“While the discovery does not produce definitive answers, we hope it will aid the healing process for those affected by Danny’s tragic death”

Coroner Paresa Spanos on Tuesday did not find a causal link between Frawley’s death and the presence of CTE in his brain Spanos wrote “At the highest level, CTE is a potential contributor to depression as Mr. Frawley suffered for a few years before his death “

“The available evidence does not allow me to determine which suicidal stressor caused or contributed to M’s death Frawley “, she wrote

The conclusion was somewhat different from the one drawn in the investigation into Jeff Astle, the former England, West Bromwich Albion and Notts County footballer who died in 2002 at the age of 59 Astle was posthumously diagnosed with CTE, and the coroner recorded a verdict of “death from industrial disease”

Danny Frawley

World News – UA – AFL Players Union Considering Multi-Million Dollar Concussion Trust Proposal