NFL Concussions #3

Alex Mennella, Co-Editor-in-Chief

As I continue reading my book, League of Denial, by Mark Fainaru-Wada & Steve Fainaru,  I came across something that shocked me. As the concussion “crisis” becomes more and more publicized, I had believed the NFL always stood by their equipment, but vowed to take action. Sadly, I was mistaken. What I discovered was that the NFL actually spoke out against the research being conducted on concussions caused by football and the link to brain disease. Every chance they got, they denied any possible link between concussions and brain injuries caused by football. I looked into this some more and found some shocking evidence. When the NFL denied the research linking football to brain damage, they were paying $2 million in disability benefits to former players. According to PBS, in the midst of the NFL’s denial of concussion research, they paid former players, such as Steelers great Mike Webster, disability because of injuries they claimed had occurred during their playing careers.  Webster’s story is a major topic in the book, and unfortunately, it doesn’t have a happy ending. Webster died at the age of 50 and when his brain was examined, it was discovered he had severe head trauma and some brain damage. His story sparked the investigation into a possible link between brain damage and football. Recently, the NFL has cooperated with the investigation and has made a complete change of mind from 2002, when the investigation began.