The report states the following:
“In this instance, our investigation has shown that while the NFL had been publicly proclaiming its role as funder and accelerator of important research, it was privately attempting to influence that research.”
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce began investigating the NFL in December after the league backed out of the seven-year study to determine and discover methods for finding CTE in living patients. To this point, the trauma-induced disease has only been found post-mortem.
The report alleges that the NFL pressured the National Institutes of Health to move the study from neurodegenerative disease expert Robert Stern, to members of the league’s committon brain injuries. The $16 million dollar study became the burden of taxpayers after the NFL backed out of a signed agreement to fund the study because the NIH refused to remove Stern. Stern has been publically vocal in criticizing the league for its stance on CTE.
The NFL’s actions violated a number of policies set in place to create a fair and independent study. The report concluded that the NFL most notably violated a policy that prohibits private donors from interfering in the NIH peer-review process. The report continues, stating this was just one violation in a “long-standing pattern of attempts” by the league to shape concussion research for its own purposes.
The NFL has repeatedly denied that it withheld funding because of objections to Stern, but evidence uncovered by the congressional investigation seems to show otherwise.
The NFLPA and executive director DeMaurice Smith appeared on Sportscenter on Monday and said:
“It’s one of the most troubling and disturbing reports I’ve seen,” Smith said of the Outside the Lines story Monday, adding he wasn’t surprised, however. “It reaffirms the fact that the league has its own view about how they care about players in the NFL.”
Smith went on to say the league has “no commitment to the health and safety of its players”.
I understand concussions are a hot button issue in the football world but at some point we might just have to accept that players running full speed at each is going to result in injury. Whether it is head, leg, arm or torso pretty much everything is at risk when it come to playing in the NFL. I think at some point we may need to discuss changes to the game or just stop doing research and let football be football. If you are one of those parents who won’t let their son play football at a pop-warner or even high school level because of concussions then you are the one who needs their head checked. Unless Brian Urlacher forged a birth certificate to play in your kids league I don’t think you have anything to worry about. The concussions pro athletes are suffering are not in the same universe as the bump to the head your child got on that 28 sweep they run every single play. The report above proves everything we already know. The NFL is corrupt. The NFL will tamper with investigations to get the answers that best suit their agenda (sound familiar). The NFL is a bunch of crooks and it is a pitiful organization. Does that mean I am going to stop watching? Absolutely not! How else will I watch men slam into each other wearing tights without having to explain my sexual orientation? Just fire all these crooks, Free Brady and give me a good reason to get belligerent on Sundays. Isn’t this America?