The head of the National Football League Players Association says the league can take quick steps to help players' health by ending its opposition to the players' worker compensation cases.
DeMaurice Smith spoke CNN's Carol Costello in an exclusive interview on Tuesday after word that the union is giving $100 million to a Harvard Univeristy-led study on player health.
The study will take 10 years, but Smith said the league can start making things better for players now.
â€œWe are asking the National Football League to stop fighting our players on their workerâ€™s comp cases, which is the main way our players get health care for the injuries they suffer at work," Smith said.
He said that reducing violence in the game should not be the focus of a debate raging in the wake of the deaths of former stars Junior Seau, Dave Duerson and others who've suffered concussion-related injuries.
â€œThe real question should be, 'What are we willing to do as both the National Football League and the players, to decrease the risks that we know are inherent, but, most importantly, to make sure that when players are hurt that theyâ€™re taken care of by their employer.' And that is a substantial step that we still need to get to with the National Football League," Smith said.