Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Roger Goodell: A Modern RJ Reynolds Spokesman

Roger Goodell's interview last Sunday with Bob Schieffer about the link between football-related head trauma and long term cognitive impairment (CTE) was a a sickening display of arrogant obfuscation and denial.  This line, when asked if he would ever allow his own son to play football, is especially revealing:
  “Absolutely,” the NFL commissioner insisted. “I have twin daughters just like the president, and I’m concerned when they play any sport. The second-highest incidents of concussions is actually girls soccer. So what you have to do is to make sure the game is as safe as possible. In the NFL, we’re changing the rules, we’re making sure the equipment is the best possible equipment, we’re investing in research to make sure we can address concussions, not just to make football safer at the NFL level, but all levels in other sports.”
Surely the Rog knows that CTE has little to do with concussions, right ?  Surely he knows that current scientific research indicates that  CTE is a neurological degenerative process that evolves over time, as a result of a lifetime of accumulated sub-concussive blows?  So why bring up the thing about girls soccer?  It's a distracting non-sequitor. 

And then this line:

“In fact, we’re all learning more about brain injuries, and the NFL has led the way,” he declared. “We started a concussion committee back in the mid-90s with the players’ association to study these issues and advance science. We’re obviously now learning more and more, and we’re investing more and more. And I think that’s going to lead to answers, even outside of brain injury, even to brain disease.”
As Ta Nehisi Coates illustrated last week, the NFL has hardly "led the way" in investigating the link between head trauma and long term impairment.  The committee he refers to (the Mild Trauma Brain Injury committee) was headed by a freaking rheumatologist for god's sakes (apparently to make sure players'  ANA titers were ok).    Moreover, the same committee rejected guidelines established by the American Association of Neurology for how to decide when to safely return head-injured athletes to the fray.

Goodell is complicit in all this.  He knows billions of dollars are on the line.  Of course he would let his non-existent son play football.  I'm sure Big Tobacco executives had no problem testifying along similar lines in terms of allowing non-existent offspring to smoke cigarettes. 

1 comment:

Frank Drackman said...

"Subconcussive Blows"??
Like what Woody Hayes did to that Clemson player???
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA the Big 10(11? 12? 13?)its the joke that never stops giving...