Near the end of the first half of a National Football League game between the Denver Broncos and the Cincinnati Bengals, after a play ended, and while the Bronco’s Dale Hackbart was kneeling, Bengal’s Fullback, Charles Clark hits Hackbart on the back of the head and neck with his forearm, badly injuring him. The incident occurred after the Bengals attempted a forward pass play during which Charles Clark ran into a corner of the north end zone as a prospective receiver. That took him into an area which was the defensive responsibility of Hackbart. The thrown pass was intercepted near the goal line by a Denver linebacker who then began to run the ball upfield. Acting out of anger and frustration, but without a specific intent to injure, Charles Clark stepped forward and struck a blow with his right forearm to the back of the kneeling plaintiff‘s head with sufficient force to cause both players to fall forward to the ground. Both players arose and, without comment, went to their respective teams along the sidelines.
They both returned to play during the second half of the game. Hackbart made no report of this incident to his coaches or to anyone else during the game. Hackbart experienced pain and soreness to the extent that he was unable to play golf as he had planned on the day after the game, he did not seek any medical attention and, although he continued to feel pain, he played on specialty t eam assignments for the Denver Broncos in games against the Chicago Bears and the San Francisco Forty-Niners on successive Sundays. The Denver Broncos then released Hackbart on waivers and he was not claimed by any other team. After losing his employment, Hackbart sought medical assistance, at which time it was discovered that he had a neck injury.