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'Blazing Saddles' Star

Sues NFL -- I Have Dementia

4/12/2012 4:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

Former Detroit Lions star Alex Karras
Former Detroit Lions star Alex Karras -- the guy who played Mongo in "Blazing Saddles" -- says he now suffers from dementia ... and blames the NFL for not properly protecting him from concussions during his playing days.

Karras -- who also starred in "Webster" -- has joined hundreds of ex-NFL players in a lawsuit that seeks medical monitoring, cognitive health benefits as well as financial compensation for the damage he suffered as a result of brain injuries.

Karras' wife has released a statement saying, "Alex suffers from dementia but still enjoys many things, including watching football. But dementia prevents him from doing everyday activities such as driving, cooking, sports fishing, reading books and going to big events or traveling."

She adds, "His constant complaint is dizziness -- the result of multiple concussions. What Alex wants is for the game of football to be made safer and allow players and their families to enjoy a healthier, happier retirement.”

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
66 COMMENTS

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31.

Jeff Becker    

He's 77 yrs. old! I guess when any older person gets dementia they should go back to their employer from 40 years ago and sue them. The good news for the NFL is he will probably forget to show up for court.

734 days ago
32.

AbbaZabba    

i think the espn did a doc on concussions in the nfl. that was some sad do***entary! crazy **** if you haven't seen it. it's worth checkin out.

he was hilarious in blazing saddles. that movie is so killer!

734 days ago
33.

Pat Boone is a Flaming Fruitcake    

This is Exhibit A of why the LOSER of a baseless lawsuit should have to pay the attorney fees of the winner. Obvious, the wife is looking for a jackpot settlement from the NFL. Ridiculous. Her husband is 77 years old. There is NO way to prove his dementia was caused by football. And Alex Karras KNEW how dangerous football was when he played the sport. DUH. No one forced him to play.

734 days ago
34.

joejava68    

Hell he is 76 years old and he is still breathing,wow,most NFL players dont make to 70 !

734 days ago
35.

Cheryl A.    

I think of those sweet little old ladies with dementia and Alzheimers and I never thought that they had been roughed up in football games. Certainly my Grammy was never in a football game, she was just an unlucky victim. I love you Mongo but this disease strikes at will. I don't believe the NFL is responsible for this. Sorry about your health, though.

734 days ago
36.

Gretel    

Alex, I feel for you. I really do. Back in the day a concussion was ... well, it was just kind of a concussion. They weren't good, but there wasn't the whole neurological field of study about them and their sequelae like there is now. Back in the 50's some of the best promotion in print advertisement for cigarettes were doctors. I mean, obviously pulling smoke into your lungs couldn't be that good of a thing but the depth of study just wasn't done at that time. I could go on and on. What I'm saying to you Alex is maybe there was some negligence in ignoring the head trauma but you could have been injured driving a truck or drywalling or something. Everything has it's drawbacks.

734 days ago
37.

anony    

I feel bad for Karras. And Richard Pryor wrote most of the Mongo stuff, if you want to know.

734 days ago
38.

Ih8Taxes    

That has to be one of the best movies of all time.

734 days ago
39.

GOLLY    

It is sad, but only hindsight is 20/20. Look at the scandal with the saints. Each of those players know of the repercussion of concussions, and yet they still went out there trying to inflict the injury on others and themselves. And you can't sue for things that wern't known then, that is like expecting everyone to know everything, and if they don't you can sue them if they make a mistake.

We learn from our mistakes, but we can't go back and change the past. and we should never be expected to.

Good luck Alex, you played the game hard, and I enjoyed your acting.

734 days ago
40.

tessa    

I guess someone held a gun on him and chained him to the field? He made a choice to abuse his body in exchange for fame and fortune. It's called personal responsibility, something that most Americans have lost in this litigious society run by lawyers and socialists.

734 days ago
41.

Vincent    

Players back then did not make millions or even close to what they make now days. The guys had to have off season jobs. The equipment also was not as good as it is now. Many years of football takes a great toll on those guys. If you read up on this guy he also got into some wrestling. If he made millions(like a previous post said) it wasn't from football but his acting career. Yes, I do know this first hand my Dad played professional football the same years this guy did. He's had many many surgeries and has to walk with a cane. The NFL has screwed these guys on their pensions and other benefits. Yes, these guys got into the game because they loved it but the NFL needs to take care of their EX players also.

734 days ago
42.

rosa    

F**K OFF, It was all good when you were being offered the million dollar contracts. Hello its a dangerous game can you say TACKLE? Do you know the definition of tackle. Again over paid atheletes who want more $$ & then blame the game. NFL needs to include in the contract, years after you are out of the game you can't blame it on the game/job. Same thing with Boxers. Hello your getting your head bashed in.

734 days ago
43.

nu sox n draws    

what about the horse he punched?

734 days ago
44.

KP    

Quite surprised that TMZ didn't mention that Alex's wife, who released the statement in this article, is the actress, Susan Clark - a famous celebrity in her own right of the 70's and 80's. She co-starred with Clint Eastwood in " Coogan's Bluff" and in "Valdez is Coming" with Burt Lancaster for those of you who remember.

733 days ago
45.

sheesh    

my mom has dementia. Maybe it was all those years working in the fields. Maybe we should sue.....

733 days ago
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