Colin Kaepernick says he’s completing $1 million donation pledge

— Back when he was playing for the San Francisco 49ers — and protesting by kneeling during the National Anthem — Colin Kaepernick said he would donate $1 million plus all the proceeds of his jersey sales from the 2016 season to organizations working in oppressed communities.

The final push started this week for the remaining $100,000. Beginning Wednesday, the ex-49ers quarterback said he will give $10,000 a day for the next 10 days to an organization of his choice, and one celebrity will match that donation.

The Colin Kaepernick Foundation announced the first $10,000 will go to Silicon Valley De-Bug, a community-organizing, advocacy and multimedia storytelling organization in San Jose, California.

Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant has made a matching $10,000 donation.

“KD, thank you so much, brother, for continuing to uplift and empower our communities,” Kaepernick said in a video posted to his Twitter account. “We love and appreciate you.”

Kaepernick became a lightning rod in 2016 when he refused to stand during the National Anthem, protesting what he believes are racial injustices and ongoing police brutality in the United States. He drew fierce criticism from some by kneeling but also inspired other athletes — from elementary schools to professional leagues — to join his movement.

In March, Kaepernick opted out of his 49ers contract and became a free agent. No NFL team signed him. Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL in October, accusing it of collusion.

“With or without the NFL’s platform, I will continue to work for the people,” Kaepernick said in December when accepting the 2017 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. “Because my platform is the people.”

Kaepernick has kept a list on his website of the recipients of his donations and how the money has been earmarked. A large portion of the donations have gone to grass-roots groups, including veterans, the homeless, students, immigrants, single mothers, families affected by violent crime, those fighting for reproductive rights and those impacted by incarceration.

Kaepernick’s money has been distributed all over the country, including to groups in New York, Phoenix, Chicago, Dallas, Baltimore, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Milwaukee as well as organizations in smaller communities such as Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Lithonia, Georgia.

Another donation, according to Kaepernick’s website, was $50,000 for a plane to deliver food and water to famine areas of Somalia.

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PGA Tour announces live stream coverage on Twitter

— Not near a TV and want to watch live golf? In just two weeks, that won’t be a problem.

The PGA Tour announced Thursday that Twitter will be the exclusive platform for more than 70 hours of live golf coverage across 31 tournaments for the rest of the season.

This will include the first two holes of each day’s marquee groups from PGA Tour Live, the organization’s over-the-top (OTT) subscription service.

Twitter’s live streaming will start on January 19 at the CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, California, and will conclude with the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta.

The two teamed together during last year’s FedExCup Playoffs, broadcasting parts of the opening rounds from both the Barclays and Deutsche Bank Championships on Twitter.

“Streaming PGA Tour Live programming to Twitter’s global audience, as well as the millions of users who follow @PGATOUR and hundreds of PGA Tour player accounts, will provide new and innovative ways for sports fans to engage with our premium OTT offering,” PGA Tour Chief Media Officer Rick Anderson said in a statement.

In addition to live play, coverage on Twitter will also feature analysis, interviews and coverage from the drivng range.

“The PGA Tour continues to transform the experience for fans on Twitter, a place where golf conversation is happening live in real time every day,” Twitter COO Anthony Noto said in the release.

“Our collaboration with the PGA TOUR will provide fans all over the world access to watch live streaming PGA TOUR events on Twitter while following the conversation all on one screen.”

NFL’s Cardinals, Ravens, Browns to make London debuts in 2017

— Three NFL teams — the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns — will make their London debuts with games in the UK in 2017, the league announced Tuesday.

Next year, the NFL will have four regular-season games in London for the International Series, which will be the first time the league has had that many in one season.

The NFL says it has a fan base in the UK of more than 13 million people, including close to “four million avid fans.”

The schedule will have games in Weeks 3 and 4 at Wembley Stadium and Weeks 7 and 8 at Twickenham Stadium.

The game times and dates will be announced when the full 2017 NFL schedule is revealed later next year.

The first-time Ravens will face a London regular, the Jacksonville Jaguars, either in Week 3, which is September 24, or Week 4 (October 1) at Wembley.

This will be the fifth consecutive season the Jaguars will play a home game in London. On October 15, 2015, Jaguars owner Shad Khan, who also owns English soccer club Fulham, announced that his team is committed to playing one game at Wembley through 2020.

The other game at Wembley on the alternative date will be the New Orleans Saints facing the Miami Dolphins. This will be the fourth London appearance for the Dolphins, while it will be the second for the Saints.

At Twickenham, the Minnesota Vikings, making their second trip to London, will face the Browns. The Cardinals will take on the Los Angeles Rams, who will be in London for a third time. The games will be Weeks 7 and 8 — October 22 and 29, respectively.

While it will be the Cardinals’ regular-season debut across the pond, it won’t be their first game in England. The team played a preseason game at Wembley in 1983 against the Vikings. It was the NFL’s first game in England.

The home teams for the London games will be the Jaguars, Dolphins, Browns and Rams.

A total of 17 regular-season games have been played in London, dating back to 2007.

Colin Kaepernick to start Sunday for 49ers

— SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) — San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sparked a national movement in sports by not standing during the national anthem to protest racial injustice, will make his first start of the season Sunday.

The announcement was made by 49ers head coach Chip Kelly on Tuesday. Kaepernick replaces Blaine Gabbert.

“We need to improve on the offensive side of the ball, and this is the decision we’ve made,” Kelly said.

Kelly added that he and his staff were “very analytical” about the decision to switch quarterbacks and wanted to make the move earlier in the week so Kaepernick could get more repetitions with the first team.

“We’ve had a couple of days to digest everything from where we are, and I think offensively we need to be better and we need to just make a move,” Kelly said. “It’s not Blaine’s fault. I think it’s just as a group, offensively, we need to be better in a lot of ways, so we’re going to see what we can do and make a move here. It’s really one of the only maneuvers we can make based on our depth.”

This will be Kaepernick’s first start this season. The 49ers, who are 1-4, are on the road Sunday at the Buffalo Bills at 1 p.m. ET.

Kaepernick once was seen as a rising star, leading the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, a game they lost to the Baltimore Ravens. But he hasn’t started a game since last November 1, when the 49ers lost 27-6 to the Rams. Later that month he was shut down for the remainder of the season because of a shoulder injury. He had multiple surgeries during the offseason and was limited in the preseason because of arm fatigue.

Kaepernick, who is biracial, first made waves during a preseason game in August when he sat during the national anthem to raise awareness about racial issues such as controversial police shootings of African American men. He has said he’s received death threats for his stance, which some see as unpatriotic.

“A lot of mail has come in. I really don’t spend too much time going through it, i still have a job to do, still have to focus on football,” Kaepernick told CNN’s Dan Simon.

But his protest also has gained positive traction in the NFL and beyond in recent weeks, with college, high school and even youth football players taking a knee or sitting during the anthem. Kaepernick last month was featured kneeling on the cover of TIME magazine.

“It’s to protest the injustices that are happening in America, the oppression that is happening in America, and these things need to be addressed on many different levels,” Kaepernick told reporters Tuesday.

Kaepernick has a notable supporter in President Barack Obama. The president weighed in last month on Kaepernick, saying, “I think he cares about some real, legitimate issues that need to be talked about and if nothing else what he’s doing has generated more conversation around some topics that need to be talked about.”

Kaepernick said last month he intended to donate the first $1 million he earns this year to different organizations that help communities, although he did not name specific ones.

“I’m not anti-America,” he said. “I love America. I love people. That’s why I’m doing this. I want to help make America better.”

Stephen Curry to skip Olympics in Rio

— Stephen Curry will skip the Rio Olympics, the two-time NBA MVP announced in a statement on Monday.

The Golden State Warriors guard cited resting his knee — which he sprained in the first round of the NBA playoffs against the Houston Rockets — as one of the reasons why he was opting out. Curry previously had sprained his ankle before suffering the knee sprain.

“After a great deal of internal thought and several discussions with my family, the Warriors and my representatives, I’ve elected to withdraw my name from the list of eligible players on Team USA’s preliminary roster for the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil,” Curry said. “I recently informed Jerry Colangelo of this decision.

“My previous experiences with USA Basketball have been incredibly rewarding, educational and enjoyable, which made this an extremely difficult decision for me and my family. However, due to several factors — including recent ankle and knee injuries — I believe this is the best decision for me at this stage of my career. It’s an incredible honor to represent your country and wear ‘USA’ on your chest, but my primary basketball-related objective this summer needs to focus on my body and getting ready for the 2016-17 NBA season.”

Curry has never competed in the Olympics but has played for the U.S. national team. He is a two-time FIBA World Cup gold medalist.

Colangelo, the USA Basketball chairman, said in a statement Monday that he was aware that Curry opting out was a “strong possibility” because of his recent injuries.

“Obviously we are disappointed that Steph will not be available this summer, but we understand these situations arise and we are fully supportive of his decision,” Colangelo said.

After finishing the regular season with a record 73 wins, the Warriors are trying to win their second consecutive NBA championship. They lead the Cleveland Cavaliers 2-0 in the best-of-seven NBA Finals. Game 3 is Wednesday in Cleveland.

WATCH: Kris Jenkins buzzer-beater wins NCAA championship for Villanova

— What a shot.

Junior forward Kris Jenkins hit a three at the buzzer, and No. 2 seed Villanova won the NCAA men’s basketball national championship in thrilling fashion over No. 1 seed North Carolina, 77-74, at NRG Stadium in Houston.

CNN Video

Kris Jenkins buzzer-beater wins NCAA championship

It’s the first buzzer-beater on a three-pointer in national championship history. Villanova also became the first team to win the national championship game on a buzzer-beater since N.C. State defeated Houston 54-52 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1983. Monday’s game marked the 33rd anniversary of that 1983 championship game.

The win is Villanova’s second championship in program history, the first coming in 1985. It’s also the first championship for head coach Jay Wright, his first appearance in a national title game.

UNC senior guard Marcus Paige’s acrobatic three-point shot with 4.7 seconds remaining had given UNC life, tying it at 74. Seat cushions flew all over the stadium in celebration.

But it was premature.

Jenkins, who finished the night with 16 points, snuffed out UNC’s hopes of a sixth championship with a dagger as the horn sounded.

After the game, he was asked if he knew the shot was good.

“I think every shot is going in,” Jenkins said. “So that one was no different.”

Senior guard Ryan Arcidiacono, who set up Jenkins for the game-winner, was named Most Outstanding Player. He finished with 16 points.

“Ryan Arcidiacono, he’s one of the best players I’ve ever played with,” Jenkins said. “For a senior to get the ball and make the right play and not try to shoot the ball in double coverage just shows a lot about him and what he’s about and how he’s just all about winning.”

A close one throughout

UNC (33-7) gained control in the final minutes by sweeping the glass for rebounds and knocking down threes (hitting 7 of 9 for 77.8%) and went to the locker room with a 39-34 lead, undoubtedly making Michael Jordan, a UNC alum who was in attendance, happy for the moment.

But in the second half, Villanova (35-5) grabbed the lead with a three from sophomore guard Phil Booth to make it 49-46 with 12:46 remaining.

UNC never regained the lead.

Arcidiacono kept the momentum going for the Wildcats, scoring nine of Villanova’s next 16 points. With free throws, Booth extended the lead to 67-57 with 5:29 left.

Booth, who started the night on the bench, finished with a career-high 20 points to lead Villanova. Junior guard Josh Hart had 12 points.

Paige, who led all scorers with 21 points, cut Villanova’s lead to 72-71 with 22 seconds remaining with a three. He finished 4-of-7 from three-point range.

But Josh Hart sunk two free throws with 13 seconds remaining to extend the lead to 74-71, setting up a frantic finish.

“Our teammates, we just fought,” Arcidiacono said. “At halftime, we said we needed to play 20 minutes of Villanova basketball and in the second half, we just fought. We made remarkable plays at the end of the game. I love this team.”

Devastation for UNC

Williams had a sinking feeling when Jenkins took the final shot.

“When the shot went up, I saw Kris shoot it, his follow-through looked great,” Williams said. “I pretty much knew it was going in. It was helpless. It was not a good feeling.”

The loss denied head coach Roy Williams from winning a third national title and the Tar Heels from winning their sixth in program history.

In addition to Paige’s output, sophomore guard Joel Berry II had 20 points, while senior forward Brice Johnson had 14.

This was the first time that UNC and Villanova have played each other in the national championship game. UNC is now 5-2 against the Wildcats in the NCAA tournament.

“The difference between winning and losing in college basketball is so small,” Williams said. “The difference in your feelings is so large. But that’s the NCAA tournament. That’s college basketball.”

Party like it’s 1985

The Wildcats won their first national championship in since 1985, which is the second-longest drought between titles.

That first one was magical: In 1985, the first time the NCAA tournament had expanded to 64 teams, Villanova, coached by Rollie Massimino and seeded 8th, shot 78.6% from the field — still an NCAA championship record — and defeated No. 1 Georgetown 66-64.

“It’s a great honor to be in that class with the ’85 team,” Arcidiacono said. “Just to know we’ll be kind of in the same sentence is an honor.”

As for that final play, Arcidiacono said that’s one that they work on every single day at practice.

“I wanted to be aggressive,” Arcidiacono said. “If I could get a shot, I was going to shoot it. But I heard someone screaming in the back of my head. It was Kris. I just gave it to him, and he let it go with confidence.”

Said Jenkins, “When (UNC) followed the ball, I just knew if I got in his line of vision, he would find me.”

There was another type of history associated with this year’s men’s national championship game. It’s the first time it was on cable television. The main game broadcast is on TBS, which like CNN, is a Time Warner company.

This year, parity had been the theme in men’s college basketball.

Throughout the season, there wasn’t one dominant team. Six teams — including UNC and Villanova — have been ranked No. 1 this season. And while it was assumed that the NCAA tournament was up for grabs, Monday night’s final consisted of two of the best teams in the nation.

Celebrations… and arrests

Eight Villanova fans were arrested during celebrations following the game, according to Lt. Chris Flanagan with the Radnor, Pennsylvania, police department.

Flanagan says one person was also cited for criminal mischief.

A number of injuries were reported: Thirty-seven people were treated at an area triage center; seven people were also transported to a local hospital. Flanagan says all the injuries were minor.

CNN’s Tina Burnside contributed to this report.

NCAA Final Four: Villanova, UNC easily advance to title game

— Heading into Final Four weekend, there were questions on how well teams could shoot in NRG Stadium in Houston, a 70,000-plus seat venue, primarily the home of the NFL’s Houston Texans.

Villanova had an emphatic answer Saturday in the first NCAA Final Four semifinal: No problem whatsoever.

Junior guard Josh Hart scored 23 points to lead a balanced attack, and the No. 2 seed Wildcats defeated No. 2 seed Oklahoma Sooners 95-51 to advance to the NCAA men’s basketball national championship game.

On Monday, Villanova (34-5) will face No. 1 seed North Carolina, which defeated No. 10 Syracuse 83-66 in the second semifinal.

Villanova head coach Jay Wright said “it simply was one of those nights.”

“I’m happy we had one of those games where we just make every shot,” Wright said. “We had end-of-shot-clock shots we just threw up and went in.”

As a team, Villanova shot an incredible 71.4% from the field and won by the biggest margin ever in a Final Four game. It was the second-best field goal percentage of the men’s Final Four, trailing only Villanova’s 78.6 percent effort (22 of 28) in the 1985 national championship game against No. 1 Georgetown on April 1, 1985.

“We got whipped in every way,” Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger said.

It will be Villanova’s first trip to the national championship game since that 1985 appearance, when the Wildcats were a No. 8 seed. UNC is a five-time NCAA champ, the most recent coming in 2009.

“I’ll see you there,” UNC senior forward Brice Johnson light-heartedly told a television reporter.

Hield struggles

This year’s NCAA tournament had been all about Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield, aka “Buddy Buckets.” The senior guard from the Bahamas — who is second in the nation in scoring this season at 25.4 points per game, had been lighting up the scoreboard for the Sooners (29-8), averaging 29 points per game in this year’s tournament heading into the Final Four.

Saturday evening was a much different story.

Hield had his worst performance of the tournament. He was held to nine points on 4-of-12 shooting, including 1-of-8 from three-point range.

“Just credit (the Wildcats), what they were doing,” Hield said. “Made it tough on me. Throwing a bunch of bodies at me. Just couldn’t get it going.

“They made shots. We were trying to find a way to make shots. They just played terrific tonight. Sometimes shots were contested, and they made them, just played great. Hats off to Villanova. They deserved it.”

Villanova’s Hart, meanwhile, rarely missed. He finished 10-of-12 from the field.

Hart gave credit to his teammates.

“When you have guys like Kris Jenkins, Ryan Arcidiacono, Daniel Ochefu who can go off any night, even other guys, Jalen Brunson Phil Booth, Mikal Bridges have big nights,” Hart said. “When they’re aggressive, you know, it helps me, helps in the driving lanes. …

“I definitely wanted to come in being aggressive and just try to help them make the right play.”

This was a rematch for the two teams, with drastically different results. Oklahoma beat Villanova 78-55 on December 7 in Hawaii.

“We saw what they did to us in Pearl Harbor,” Hart said. “We were dialed in defensively, ready to step up for each other. That’s really what we did. We were just so dialed in defensively.”

Second game: A blowout against familiar foes

The second game turned into another blowout, as North Carolina (33-6) outpaced Syracuse (23-14). UNC led 39-28 at halftime. Syracuse — which was trying to become the first double-digit seed to reach the national championship game — cut UNC’s lead to seven points with 9:51 remaining to make it 57-50, but the Tar Heels weren’t seriously challenged after that.

“The last four weeks we’ve been much, much better defensively,” UNC head coach Roy Williams said. “We had a brain lapse there for about three minutes in the second half, but other than that I thought we were really good defensively against a team that’s hard to guard.”

Johnson and sophomore guard/forward Justin Jackson each had 16 points. Junior forward Kennedy Meeks had 15 points, while senior guard Marcus Paige had 13 points. Sophomore guard Joel Berry II had eight points and 10 assists.

UNC and Syracuse are extremely familiar with each other, as both are from the Atlantic Coast Conference. This was the third time these teams faced each other this season, with UNC now winning all three games.

Despite its reputation as a title contender in previous years, Syracuse, with the up-and-down season it has had, was one of the most improbable Final Four teams in the tournament’s history.

Losing 13 games this season, including going 1-5 in its final six games before the NCAA tournament, Syracuse was in danger of missing the tournament altogether as a bubble team. Additionally, the Orange’s head coach, Jim Boeheim, was suspended for nine games earlier this season for what the NCAA said was failing to monitor his basketball program.

Senior guard Trevor Cooney had 22 points, while freshman forward Malachi Richardson and senior forward Michael Gbinije had 17 and 12 points, respectively.

Boeheim said he told his players he was more proud of this team then any team he has ever coached.

“Tonight we had a bad start,” he told a reporter. “We missed some free throws that we can’t miss. You can’t do that against North Carolina. They’re just too big and strong and good.”

CNN’s Steve Almasy contributed to this report.

NFL acknowledges CTE link with football. Now what?

For the first time, the National Football League has publicly acknowledged a connection between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the brain disorder better known as CTE.

Jeff Miller, the NFL’s senior vice president of health and safety policy, was part of a round-table discussion with the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Monday when Rep. Jan Schakowsky asked him directly: “Mr. Miller, do you think there is a link between football and degenerative brain disorders like CTE?”

“The answer to that question is certainly yes,” Miller said.

The NFL issued a statement on Tuesday, saying “The comments made by Jeff Miller yesterday accurately reflect the view of the NFL.”

Why now for the NFL?

For years, the NFL has avoided saying whether football was related to CTE and deferred to the medical community’s findings on the matter.

So why the change now?

Previously, the NFL has said that it was waiting on more brain studies, according to CNN’s Coy Wire, who played nine seasons in the league.

“There were simply not enough studies or medical proof for the league to make a direct connection between football and CTE,” Wire said.

However, recent studies at Boston University may have been an impetus for the change in the league’s perspective.

In his response on Monday, Miller referenced Dr. Ann McKee, a neuropathologist and an expert in neurodegenerative disease at Boston University School of Medicine.

“I think certainly, based on Dr. McKee’s research, there’s a link, because she’s found CTE in a number of retired football players,” Miller said. “I think the broader point … is what that necessarily means and where do we go from here with that information.”

“I unequivocally think there’s a link between playing football and CTE,” McKee said Monday. “We’ve seen it in 90 out of 94 NFL players whose brains we’ve examined, we’ve found it in 45 out of 55 college players and six out of 26 high school players. Now I don’t think this represents how common this disease is in the living population, but the fact that over five years I’ve been able to accumulate this number of cases in football players, it cannot be rare. In fact, I think we are going to be surprised at how common it is.”

Several former NFL players, including some prominent members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, have been found to have had CTE.

Most recently, Ken Stabler, who died in July from cancer, was posthumously elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in February. Earlier that week, researchers at Boston University said that Stabler suffered from CTE.

Hall of Fame class of 2015 member Junior Seau also was elected after his death. He was 43 when he killed himself in May 2012 with a gunshot wound to the chest and was posthumously diagnosed with CTE.

Mike Webster, the Pittsburgh Steelers center who was profiled in the movie “Concussion,” was the first former NFL player to be diagnosed with CTE. He died of a heart attack at age 50.

Perhaps the best-known person diagnosed with CTE was Hall of Famer and revered sportscaster Frank Gifford; he died of natural causes in August at age 84.

The NFL Players Association had no comment on Miller’s statement, but referred CNN to a news release it issued two weeks ago headlined “NFLPA Letting Medical Science Point the Direction in Fight to Protect Players’ Health and Safety.”

What happens with lawsuits?

In June 2015, a federal judge approved a class-action lawsuit settlement between the NFL and thousands of former players. The agreement provides up to $5 million per retired player for serious medical conditions associated with repeated head trauma.

While the lawsuit was a combination of hundreds of actions brought by more than 5,000 ex-NFL players, the settlement applies to all players who retired on or before July 7, 2014, according to Judge Anita Brody’s 132-page decision. It also applies to the family members of players who died before that date.

However, that is all on hold for now. According to the NFL concussion settlement website, “no claims for benefits can be submitted now and none have been submitted. No awards have been issued.”

“We welcome the NFL’s acknowledgment of what was alleged in our complaint: that reports have associated football with findings of CTE in deceased former players,” Christopher Seeger, co-lead counsel for the retired NFL player class plaintiffs, said Tuesday in a statement. “Retired NFL players brought this case to obtain security and care for the devastating brain injuries they were experiencing at a rate much greater than the general population. The settlement achieves that, providing immediate care to the sickest retired players and long-term security over the next 65 years for those who are healthy now but develop a qualifying condition in the future.”

Following Miller’s comments Monday, attorney Steven Molo, who represents some former players who opted out of the concussion lawsuit settlement, wrote to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In the letter, he said that the NFL’s testimony “directly contradicts its positions in this case,” saying the NFL had previously said “the speculation that repeated concussion of subconcussive impacts cause CTE remains unproven.”

“The NFL’s statements make clear that the NFL now accepts what science already knows: a ‘direct link’ exists between traumatic brain injury and CTE,” Molo wrote.

In an email to CNN on Tuesday, Molo said he hopes that this new NFL stance will affect all former players and members from the settlement class.

“After the Third Circuit recognizes the unfairness of the current settlement and returns it to the district court for further negotiations, I hope the NFL’s recent admission will prompt it to provide the benefits and care that retired players suffering with CTE deserve,” Molo wrote

What does this mean for current players?

In the short term, the NFL continues to make changes when it comes to player safety, referencing improvements in equipment and focusing on the concussion issue.

“We learn more from science,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said February 5 at his news conference ahead of Super Bowl 50. “We learn more by our own experience and we have made great progress. We continue to make rule changes to our game to make the game safer and protect our players from unnecessary injury, from acts that we see can lead to increased probability of an injury.”

Currently, the NFL is more popular than ever. Ratings and revenues continue to soar. Super Bowl 50 averaged 111.9 million viewers. NFL revenues are projected to be more than $13 billion in 2016, according to Forbes.

But current NFL players aren’t eligible to collect in the concussion settlement. And CTE is a disease that only can be diagnosed postmortem. There is no cure.

The problem isn’t limited to football. Athletes from other sports, such as former Major League Baseball player Ryan Freel, former NHL player Steve Montador and wrestler Chris Benoit, were found to have had CTE. Recently, former U.S. women’s soccer star Brandi Chastain announced she has agreed to donate her brain to Boston University for research into CTE.

Will there be a drop-off in participation levels in any of these sports? Will there be more lawsuits? That all remains to be seen. But Dr. Bennet Omalu, profiled in the movie “Concussion,” said because a link has been established, filing a lawsuit is less likely because a judge could say that the filing party should know the risks.

“It’s like if you smoke now, you can’t sue the cigarette industry,” Omalu said. “It’s already established. The same applies to football. Moving forward, you can’t sue someone, claiming that someone else is responsible for your injuries.”

CNN’s Steve Almasy, Nadia Kounang and David Close contributed to this report.