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NY Times: NFL Omitted Concussion Data from Reports

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Shalini Shah1 year ago

NFL concussion scandal deepens as New York Times reports that the NFL knowingly used data that excluded information from multiple teams.

About the NFL Data Exclusion

At least 100 diagnosed concussions were not reported by the NFL in data the league used to downplay the effects of head injuries on players.

For example, zero concussions were reported on behalf the Dallas Cowboys, despite multiple documented head injuries to their starting quarterback Troy Aikman. In fact, about 10% of documented concussions were missing from the research.

In 2003, the NFL published its study in 13 peer-reviewed articles when it was positioned as full account of all diagnosed concussions reported by team doctors from 1996 through 2001.

A peer reviewer from the New York Times of the study claimed it’s a definite red flag that a team does not report any concussions over multiple years. The NFL has issued a statement claiming the Times is ignoring other facts.

The NFL is also claiming that contact sports can never be concussion-free, but they are committed to caring for our players.

Ottawa Sun reports a member of the concussion committee was unaware of the missing data.   The committee has disbanded in 2009 and the chairman of the neurological surgery department of the University of Washington said previous studies should be discredited unless they are being done by people who don’t owe money to the NFL.

The NFL has proposed a $1 billion plan to settle concussion claims with former players. This settlement has been appealed by players concerned that it excludes future cases of CTE.

Traumatic Injury and Concussion Facts

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disabilities in the United States.  Most TBI’s that occur each year are concussions.  Here are some related statistics:

  • In 2009, about 238,418 children (younger than 19) were treated for concussions related to sports and recreation-related injuries.
  • From 2001-2009, the rate of emergency department visits for sports and recreation-related injuries with a diagnosis of concussion or TBI rose 57% among children (younger than 19).


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