Yesterday California's governor signed into law a bill that blocks athletes from filing future workers' compensation claims for games they play in the state, unless they played for a California team. It was shut down thanks to intense lobbying from the NFL and other pro sports leagues that hinged on the argument that the claims were costing taxpayers money. That's a blatant lie.
The California Labor Code was certainly controversial. Many athletes, the bulk of them comprising thousands of former NFL players, have already filed claims against their employers for injuries suffered on the job. California allowed them to cite "cumulative injuries," the sort of minor head trauma that builds to long-term permanent disability. There's no need to point to a specific injury that caused the damage, which is helpful when there's not one single blow that does it.
(It's interesting to note that some of these players filed injury claims even while publicly dismissing the plaintiffs in the NFL concussion lawsuits.)
The pending claims from former NFL players could be worth up to $1 billion. So when the state legislature was considering a bill to amend the code to limit it to athletes who played for California teams, the sports leagues sent lobbyists to get across the message that former players were only bilking the state and taxpayers out of money. The Los Angeles Times' Michael Hiltzik explained why this is bullshit: