Lions center can't justify memory suit

Updated: April 18, 2012, 11:15 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola fully expects to suffer from short-term memory loss when his career is over.

Raiola said NFL players know the condition is a hazard and one of the rigors of their job.

"I think when you sign up for this job, you know what you're getting into," Raiola said Tuesday.

That's why the 11-year veteran couldn't imagine himself suing the league for health problems as more than 1,000 former players have done.

Four ex-NFL players, including former Lions tackle Lomas Brown, sued the league Monday, saying it didn't properly protect them from concussions they blame for health problems. Their attorney says they suffer from memory loss, headaches, depression and other symptoms characteristic of those with traumatic brain injuries.

Brown is an analyst for ESPN.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy has said any allegation that the league intentionally sought to mislead players is without merit.

Raiola said players these days are making more money than they used to, adding it is the former players' prerogative to filing lawsuits, but he doesn't think he'll ever follow their path to the courtroom after he retires.

"I don't know if I could justify suing the league when I am done," Raiola said.

During the season, Raiola said he had been "dinged up" enough in his career to see "black and white with little stars," but wouldn't pull himself out of a game because of concussion-like symptoms.

Raiola, speaking to reporters while the team gathers for voluntary workouts, knows the risks he's taking with his health, but insists he's not changing his mindset.

"I have so much fun playing the game, I really don't worry about it," Raiola said. "It's common knowledge that people are going to suffer. Memory loss is going to come. You're hitting every time you step on the field. I am ready for it. It's worth it -- totally worth it. This is the best job in the world. I would never trade it for anything."

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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