NFL Says Football Can Cause Major Brain Injuries: More Headaches To Come?

NFL now confirms -- for the first time -- its sport can cause major medical issues for its players, specifically the long-term head trauma known as CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Speaking to a U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Energy and Commerce on Monday,  Jeff Miller, senior vp for health and safety for NFL, when asked whether there is link between football and neurodegenerative diseases, said: "The answer to that question is certainly yes.”

Finally -- and now we can move on. But what is the future? First NFL needs to apologize to a few people, specifically to former players, but perhaps also to some marketers.

Early in the discovery of this condition, Toyota -- in 2011 --  ran a short-lived TV commercial, one showing Toyota safety technology helping to solve the NFL’s problem of human sport collision by devising possible protection for players.



At the time, it didn’t seem controversial. Just an attempt by a marketer to help the NFL and players. But no. "The NFL saw it on 'Monday Night Football' and the next morning we got the call," said Tim Morrison, corporate marketing communications manager for the Toyota’s U.S. operations, at the time. "They weren't happy."

Specifically, the league wasn’t happy with the video of a helmet-to-helmet tackle. The league wanted to put a kibosh on the commercial.  Toyota instead edited the spot.

For years, NFL officials avoided the issue of connecting CTE to playing football -- even most recently during the Super Bowl, when a San Francisco neurosurgeon who leads the NFL subcommittee on long-term brain injury said there was no link.

One might wonder now if at least some marketers might move to more drastic action -- like pulling TV schedules or trimming league sponsorship efforts.

Others will say, it’s all about supply and demand -- TV supply and demand. If TV viewers continue to show up in big droves in the coming years, marketers will show up as well.  But maybe different marketers for sure.

Whatever happens, this noise around medical issues won’t be  stopping anytime soon. Said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill) during the hearing: “What the American public need now is honesty about the health risks, and clearly more research.”

2 comments about "NFL Says Football Can Cause Major Brain Injuries: More Headaches To Come?".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, March 17, 2016 at 9:49 a.m.

    Is this a huge surprise? Doesn't everyone know that a sport where 300 pound behemoths crash into eachother on a regular basis will cause injuries? Is it possible that the players, themselves, aren't aware of the risks? Rep. Schakowsky said, What the American public need now is honesty about the health risks, and clearly more research". Brilliant, Jan. Now lets start an inquiry about automobile safety and follow up with one on the dangers of skiing or watching too much TV. After all, the public needs to know. Meanwhile really pressing ploblems aren't dealt with by the politicians---no wonder so many voters are pissed off.

  2. Chuck Lantz from, network, March 17, 2016 at 1:31 p.m.

    Two points to consider when discussing NFL head injuries:

    In some forms of motor-racing, if the helmet makes contact with any surface during a crash, the rules require that it be replaced, even if it shows no outward signs of damage.

    Since the foam cushion material inside a football helmet is not designed, or able, to retain its original shock absorbing properties for an unlimited number of impacts, what effect does the friendly head-butting between teammates have on those helmets?

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