Former rugby league hard man Mark Geyer says he would never consider suing the NRL or any of his former clubs over the number of concussions he suffered in his career.
Geyer was so concerned over the state of his brain following his 15-year career as a forward, that he had tests carried out on his head in 2015 after a number of former players revealed they had brain damage.
Geyer just passed the tests, but remains worried he could have future complications. His comments came after it was revealed on Sunday that former Newcastle winger James McManus had launched legal action against the Knights for his eventual career-ending concussion.
McManus, a 166-game veteran for the Knights and former NSW Origin representative, never played again after he was left heavily dazed by a seemingly innocuous blow in round 20 of 2015.
The upcoming case, due for listing next month in the NSW Supreme Court, had sparked suggestions that a number of past players could follow suit against either their club or the NRL.
But while Geyer said he respected those who wished to take legal action, he would never consider doing likewise.
“I don’t want any compensation from the game. They gave me everything I’ve got,” he told Triple M.
“I signed a contract for 15 years to get money off the NRL.
“The last thing I want is to say they are the cause of my head knocks, because I’ve agreed to play the game.”
SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS: Mark Geyer
Geyer, 49, estimates he copped 15 serious concussions across his club, state and international career – or one for each season.
“We don’t know how much pain we’re going to have in 10 or 20 years time from now,” he said.
“Does it mean I’m going to get dementia or Alzheimer’s quicker? I don’t know.”
But he said the NRL had taken reasonable steps in recent years with its concussion policy to protect players and create a safe working space.
His views echoed that of former NRL player and current sports lawyer Tim Fuller, who told AAP on Sunday it would be difficult to sue either the game or its clubs for the potential long-term results from concussion, unlike the recent $1 billion class action by former players against the NFL in America.
“Everyone from Todd Greenberg down knows this is an issue and they are doing everything they possibly can to remove concussion injuries from the sport,” Fuller said.
“That’s a very different situation to what’s happened over in the NFL where players were taught to lead with their heads and a lot of the coaching techniques were conducive to producing concussion related injuries.”
Meanwhile Newcastle have strenuously denied mismanaging McManus’ injury, while the former Origin winger continues to work at the club in an off-field role.